A series of free beach sessions are being made available on the Isle of Wight during Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week for children affected by the pandemic.

The Department for Education, in partnership with Barnardo's and surf therapy charity The Wave Project, has extended further funding for the charity to run its popular wellbeing catch-up sessions on beaches around England.

These Covid-safe sessions take place outside, and provide children with an opportunity to de-stress and regain confidence.

They are available to any child aged 8 to 17 whose mental or emotional health has been impacted by the pandemic.

Wave Project chief executive, Joe Taylor, said: "Wellbeing catch-ups are a really simple and effective way to help children affected by the pandemic improve their emotional wellbeing.

"They are an opportunity for children to get outside and enjoy themselves safely with other children.

"We are grateful to Barnardo’s and the Department for Education for extending funding for these sessions, which means they can be delivered free of charge to children across England."

Led by a trained facilitator, young people use surfing and beach games to rebuild confidence and overcome anxiety.

Between August and November, the Wave Project supported over 360 children and young people on their wellbeing catch-up sessions.

Those wishing to find out more can visit The Wave Project website at www.waveproject.co.uk

Isle of Wight courses are available in both Sandown and Compton.