Dan Willmore

SUP Challenge Wales 2018 - St Davids to Cardiff Bay

Fundraising for Ysgol y Deri Parents and Friends Association
raised of £6,000 target
by 117 supporters
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Surf Experience

Challenge Wales 2018

The Surf Experience is one of many
incredible projects that are run by the Launch Pad interventions team at Ysgol Y Deri (YYD) Learning Community in Penarth. The Launch Pad team work with pupils that struggle to cope with everyday day life, using many different vehicles to facilitate the improvement of their emotional, mental and physical wellbeing. One extremely effective tool is outdoor education. Ysgol Y Deri offers many fantastic opportunities for our pupils to get out into nature and have lots of positive experiences, such as the adventure outdoors rotation, the Duke of Edinburgh awards, climbing, hiking, skiing, canoeing, stand up paddling and surfing. All of the activities are hugely beneficial to our young people and the positive effects they have can be almost instantaneous.

The SUP Challenge Wales event, with the help of The Parents and Friends Association (PFA), aim to raise money to make all of these activities more inclusive and accessible to the pupils at Ysgol Y Deri.  We aim to raise £6000 in total. A portion of the money will be used to buy surfing equipment, which will mean more access for the pupils. Remaining money will be kept aside for other outdoor activities.

Dan Willmore plans to
stand up paddle, unsupported, the full length of the beautiful South Welsh coastline.
The journey is an estimated 145miles. The paddle launches from St Davids on the 25th May 2018 and he hopes to complete the journey 8 to 9 days later, finishing in Cardiff Bay at the Cardiff International White Water Centre.Other paddlers of any craft are welcome to come and say hello and paddle some legs. Please be aware your safety will be  your own responsibility.

As part of the challenge pupils at YYD will be trying to match the
miles Dan will paddle using different apparatus in and around the school. They too will be looking for your support, so please give generously as they be will be giving it their all.

Outdoor education is very important to the pupils and staff at Ysgol Y Deri. It offers life experiences that no other form of education can. It has a direct impact on the way a person feels. It boosts confidence and self-esteem while promoting teamwork and developing social skills; the benefits are endless.

Please come and support this incredible event in the form of donations or sharing the event on
social media.

Thanks for your support

Dan Willmore

The Surf Experience

Launch Pad Team

Dan Willmore

Dan is 39 years old and has been working with children and adults of all abilities for 20 years. Dan has been a working musician since the age of 14 and started teaching at the age of 18. He studied at Derby University where he received an honours degree in music and creative writing. While there he taught drums part time and was actively playing professionally in various bands. He eventually became full
time musician and drum teacher after he graduated. During this time he taught in the local schools and eventually started doing some work in the special education sector. 

In 2004 Dan moved to London where he started working for the NAS School Sybill Elgar as an LSA while setting up a drum school at Wembley drum centre and playing on the London music scene. Before moving to London Dan has been travelling to Australia where he
found his love of the ocean and surfing.

In 2010, after 3 years of working abroad Dan and his wife settled in Cardiff due to its great location to the surf and the diversity and range of activities available. He and his wife started working in Ysgol Y Deri (formally Ashgrove School) Not long after joining the school he became a member of the Launch Pad team and started to develop two large projects in the school. The Rock School Program and The Surf Experience. Both of these projects eventually rolled out across three schools, which have now come together to form Ysgol Y Deri.

The following years saw Dan set up a fully functional recording studio within the school. He Became a fully qualified lifeguard, surf, SUP and Flow Rider instructor and more recently as a member of the Water Skill Academy wrote a qualification for paddle board instructors who want to work with the differently abled.  He has written various articles for
international paddleboard publications on SUP travel and education.

In 2012 Dan was responsible for organising the SUP challenge Wales event where it saw him and colleague, Kerry Baker paddle a gruelling 43 miles in 10 hours and 23 minutes from Swansea to Cardiff raising £6000 for the school.

Dan continues takes
YYD pupils surfing, indoors surfing, stand up paddle boarding, climbing, hiking
and canoeing all year round.


About the charity

Our charity transforms lives, providing support to special needs children attending Ysgol Y Deri the UK’s largest special needs school featured on BBC One Wales Series ‘A Special School’. Our biggest aim is to sit at the heart of our Special School, raising much needed funds to make a difference.

Donation summary

Total raised
+ £701.00 Gift Aid
Online donations
Offline donations

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