The Newquay veterans using surfing to overcome mental and physical struggles

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A surf club for veterans has been helping ex military personnel adapt physically and mentally into civilian life in Newquay.

The adaptive sessions gives people with mobility issues a chance to enjoy the sea and back on land a place to confide in each other.

Joe Anson, who served with the Royal Air Force, says the adaptive surfing is "amazing".

"I look forward to every year. Best thing I've ever, ever done. I mean, I can't do it without these guys."

Watching Joe take to the waves Daz Keelor from Newquay Surf Veterans says "he'll be buzzing off for weeks" after this experience.

"The bloke's injured, he's got Parkinson's, and yet the look on his face."

Each veteran supports each other both in and out of the water Credit: ITV News

The group rib each other for being in different sections of the armed forces but each member has a deep understanding of the physical and mental obstacles for life after military service.

But founder of the Newquay Surf Veterans, Andy Card says "the real work is done when we come back in [from the sea]".

"When we're sat on the beach, that's when people who've had maybe a rough week maybe something's going on with their mental illness, their anxiety, that's when they get to talk to us about things."

"And then everybody goes off feeling better. That's the great thing."

The club was joined by veteran surfers from Bude, the Lizard and Penzance for the adaptive surfing event.

Each member agrees, the key to everyone feeling better about their struggles is through talking.

Donna McGrath, who's also an RAF veteran, says "talking is a great tool".

"We talk a lot because they understand it. We've all been there. We've all done it."

The group also reflected on how important it is to support each other in memory of Grant Clarey.

Grant Clarey was a vibrant young surfer with a modelling contract who had ambitions to join the Army. Credit: ITV News

The 21 year old surfer tried to get into the army five times. He died by suicide nine years ago and his father Jim Clarey says he did not realise his worth while he was still with them.

"He tried all sorts of different ways to get professional help, none of it came to anything."

"Since then, there have been a lot of moves to improve things for single young men, not as much as we would like, but it's headed in the right direction."

Jim previously served in the Army and says the group has a lot to be proud of.

"They support numerous people who they've talked to off the top of the cliff. Most of them ex-squaddies who've got PTSD, but they're amazing. They really are."

Falmouth is hosting the fifteenth national Armed Forces Day on Saturday 24 June, where many of the Newquay Surf Veterans group will be representing.

The day will see hundreds of military personnel and their families to the town, along with parades, flag raising and fly pasts.