Press Releases 2014-2015

Cerebra and UWTSD Collaboration to Enable Surfing and Surf Access for Disabled Children


The Cerebra Innovation Centre (CIC), a collaborative team working to enhance the lives of children with neurological conditions, have been developing 2 surfing products which are now near completion.

CIC is a collaborative project run between the national charity Cerebra and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD). The project has been operational for 10 years. During that time the team have developed many bespoke products to aid the daily living challenges of children with a range of neurological conditions such as autism and cerebral palsy.

CIC have recently been working in collaboration with Surfability UK and Roger Cooper Surfboards, on developing and manufacturing a tandem surf board with a supportive “bucket” seat that can be used by disabled children whilst being controlled by a trained surf instructor.

In collaboration with Surf Tonic Therapy, CIC have also developed a Surf Access Vehicle. This was designed by previous student Ben Hammonds, Automotive Design Masters, whilst working with CIC for a work placement.  Both of these products are nearing completion.

Since its inception, CIC has made a tremendous difference to the lives of many children with neurological conditions across the UK. The unique strategic vision for CIC means that they are able to respond to individual requests for help and can make small numbers of bespoke products that focus heavily on individual requirements and inclusion into society. Some products in CIC’s portfolio are now being commercialised in partnership with third party manufacturers.

Dr Ross Head, Product Design Manager at CIC said: “The work that we do fills a crucial short fall in equipment that is available for children with these conditions, sometimes there simply is not a product out there that works for them. We are in a unique position to be able to design and manufacture bespoke products to help their daily living challenges.

“Based in the Swansea College of Art, UWTSD, the CIC team use the state-of-the-art workshops and equipment to produce beautiful design concepts, with the notion that these children deserve to have products that are every bit as nice (or nicer) than regular high-street products. We strive to ensure excellent functionality with beautiful aesthetics in our work. Some of the CIC concepts have been commercialised and are generating revenue for Cerebra and UWTSD, we aim to increase this number of commercial products.”

With recent news coverage detailing professional level surfing and bringing it to an international audience, the sport’s popularity continues to grow at a very fast pace. CIC’s work helps to ensure that children with neurological conditions have the opportunity to surf and take part in water based activities.

Note to Editor

  1. For more information please contact Sara Jones, PR and Communications Officer, on 07449 998 478 or via email at
  2. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David was established in 2010 through the merger of the University of Wales Lampeter and Trinity University College, Carmarthen. On 1 August 2013 the Swansea Metropolitan University merged with the University
  3. The University’s Royal Charter 1828 is the oldest in Wales, and it is third behind Oxford and Cambridge in Wales and England. HRH Prince of Wales is the Patron of the University
  4. On 1 August, 2013 Coleg Sir Gâr merged with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Group, however they will keep their own brand. Coleg Ceredigion merged with the Group on 1 January 2014