YMCA East Surrey

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WAVES (Wellbeing, Awareness & Voice for East Surrey)

At WAVES, we recognise that it isn’t always easy to talk about our emotional and mental wellbeing. Fear about what others might say or not being taken seriously can often stop us from speaking out.

The reality is that you are not alone! One in 5 young people experience symptoms of anxiety, depression and issues with their body confidence and one in 10 have a diagnosable mental health issue.

WAVES aims to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing for young people 11-19 (up to 25 if they have a disability) across East Surrey in a positive way.

As a group of young people, we work together to:

  • promote awareness and combat stigma
  • offer peer education and support for friends, family and partners
  • signpost to external services
  • be flexible and creative.

WAVES informs young people, their friends, families and partners through presentations and information sheets to help achieve positive change. We use our own research, knowledge and personal experiences as a means of support for others.

Read our magazine

Watch our video



Please take a look at our factsheets for more information about mental health and wellbeing issues that a lot of people encounter at some point in their lives.

What is anger?

What is anxiety?

What is depression?

What is stress?

Come to our Drop-in Youth Sessions

WAVES offers two drop-in youth clubs providing a safe space for young people who are experiencing or have experienced mental health difficulties. The sessions give you a chance to talk in complete confidence to others with similar experiences, take part in activities, combat stigma and build friendships and support networks with others.


YMCA Sovereign Centre
Slipshatch Road, Reigate, RH2 8HA


YMCA Banstead Children’s and Youth Centre
The Horseshoe, Bolters Lane, Banstead, SM7 2BQ



Find out more

If you would like to find out more or would like to join our group and raise awareness of mental health issues, please contact Ella Sowton.

T 01737 222859

E ella.sowton@ymcaeastsurrey.org.uk