Surfability is the UK’s first fully inclusive surf school based in Caswell Bay, Swansea. We are a Community Interest Company that offers surfing lessons and a range of opportunities to over 500 people with disabilities. Previously we operated our Social Enterprise out of a dilapidated surf shack with no electricity, running water or ventilation. This became an issue for us as it was hard to keep people warm, both before and after surfing. We also dealt with regular flooding, meaning days where we could not operate at all, and had to let people down. We lacked accessible changing rooms, kit drying facilities and kit storage for our growing range of accessible equipment. Given our connection to and reliance on the ocean and natural environment, all of us at Surfability wanted to upgrade the building to be a hundred percent eco-friendly and carbon neutral while still having the space to store surf equipment and support as many people as possible.

In 2020 we were lucky enough to be visited by BBC’s DIY SOS team, in partnership with Children in Need. They completely re-built our base, and with the help of Hassie Electrical Ltd, a new surfboard-shaped building was constructed to house the charity’s headquarters. The building features a grass roof with 12 solar panels for energy generation and a Powerwall for backup energy storage. This was a huge help for us, we now have an amazing facility that makes both our lives and the lives of everyone around us much easier.

The Powerwall is amazing! As surfers, we are really aware of our environmental impact and want to minimise it as much as possible. Sadly, wetsuits and surfboards are pretty toxic items. To balance this it was really important to us to ensure our building made as little impact as possible. The building’s solar and Powerwall system now generates and stores all the electricity that Surfability needs to operate and thanks to their low electricity usage, we have had really cheap electricity bills since the project’s completion, which means we can invest more funds in getting people in the water rather than paying bills. The addition of this technology has already been so beneficial to us and will continue to be for many years to come.

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