Wheelchair for beach to enable more people to access the seafront

PUBLISHED: 11:00 29 June 2018

Tourism manager Caroline Darlington with Nitsa Michael and Sophia Michael.

Tourism manager Caroline Darlington with Nitsa Michael and Sophia Michael.

Archant

A specially-adapted beach wheelchair is available for visitors and tourists to use along the seafront, thanks to Weston Hospicecare.

The wheelchair was one of two donated to the charity by the Axentis Michael Charitable Trust in 2016 and it has been loaned to Weston’s Visitor Information Centre (VIC) to enable people with disabilities or mobility issues to access the beach.

The hospice, along with Nitsa and Sophia Michael from the trust, handed over the wheelchair to VIC managers.

Weston Hospicecare’s director of fundraising and communications, Alison Sopp, said: “We were kindly donated two beach wheelchairs by the Axentis Michael fund in 2016 with the purpose of giving our patients the chance to access the beach.

“We noticed we were not using both wheelchairs frequently and we approached the fund to propose loaning one to the Visitor Information Centre so those in the community who have a disability or mobility problems can comfortably access our beautiful beach.

“The fund felt the same way and they have very kindly offered their support for our proposed idea to give something back to the community which consistently supports Weston Hospicecare.”

The beach wheelchair is the first of its kind and VIC staff hope it will attract more people to the beach.

Visit Weston’s tourism marketing officer Ellie Somers said: “We are very proud to say we are the first area in Somerset to have these life-changing facilities, and we look forward to everyone being able make the most of their visits to Weston.

“We are extremely grateful to the Axentis Michael fund and also to Weston Hospicecare for approaching the Visitor Information Centre with this idea and we are delighted to be able to make the beach wheelchair available later in the summer.

“Since the Weston Visitor Information Centre opened in 2015, we have received a lot of interest via email and telephone relating to beach wheelchairs and it will be great to see people, who have unfortunately been unable to go onto the beach previously, enjoy the experience thanks to the kind donation from Weston Hospicecare and Axentis Michael Charitable Trust.”

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