Chance to hit the surf with new drop in service

Joseph Bulmer

New sessions for 16-25 year olds run by Wings in Bideford could lead to all manner of opportunities, including the chance to be a surf instructor.

BECOMING a lifeguard, an extreme sports instructor or pursuing their own business ideas could be among the opportunities available to young people in Bideford through a new drop in service.

It was launched on Thursday by the Wings charity to make sure the town’s 16 to 25-year-olds do not become a NEET statistic – that is, “Not in Employment, Education or Training.”

It will be open every Wednesday and Thursday at the Wings Hall in lower Meddon Street from 11am-4pm.

It is completely free and there is no “time table” – people are welcome to call in when convenient, chill out, play pool, use the computers or X-box and generally specialise if they wish.

“It’s their place, we want them come in, feel comfortable and welcome to use the facilities here as they wish,” said programme manager James Lewis.

“Wings has set up its own training courses in the past and we are looking to do that as well as set up businesses for young people to help give them experience.”

James runs the Point Breaks watersports company near Ilfracombe and one of his aims is to help train young people to become lifeguards and surf instructors.

“The people who do this work now are nearly all from out of the area,” he said.

“The extreme sports avenue is one of the things we’re looking to do first, to get people out of doors where they are actually doing something and enjoying it, but also to help get them ready for work at the same time.”

Anyone interested on the Wednesday or Thursday sessions can simply drop in between 11am-4pm, or call (01237) 472000.