People go to the beach to feel the fresh sea breeze, enjoy the sandy shore and marvel at the mesmerizing beach waves. Those who use mobility devices can now do the same without hassle brought about by their conventional chairs. Thanks to a beach wheelchair loan scheme that allows them to visit the beach with their families and friends anytime they wish.
East Lothian, one of Scotland’s 32 council areas, lets its residents visit and enjoy the beach hassle-free by letting them hire special wheelchairs. The wheelchairs are built with wheels that allow individuals to better access the coast. The wheels are designed to cope with dry or wet sand, enabling the user to easily maneuver or navigate in the seashore.
The special wheelchairs are available at the North Berwick coast. Wheelchair users can rent the mobility device for free and take delight in the beautiful beach along with their loved ones.
Alison Brown, Co-founder of the Beach Wheelchair Hire Scheme or Beach Wheelchair Project, said that she knows firsthand the difference the special wheelchairs can make. Being a mother of a child with mobility needs, Brown further said that she fully understands the difficulty of going out to the beach with the ordinary or conventional wheelchair. She then recalled a time when her family visited a beach in France where they were able to use a special wheelchair for her son. With such a mobility device, her son was able to move about freely and navigate in the sandy coast without struggle.
With her son being able to use a wheelchair that is specially designed for cruising or navigating the sandy seashore is something that she really appreciated. Brown hopes that with the beach wheelchair hire or loan scheme, more people with physical needs can access the beach anytime.
Realizing the purpose of the project, the Big Lottery Fund willingly gave the funds needed. A generous amount of £10,000 was allotted to support the project and help it bring into completion.
Maureen McGinn, from the National Lottery, said that funding the scheme will definitely change lives, not only in East Lothian but across Scotland as well. She further stated that with this project, people will learn to focus on their abilities, not on their disabilities, and will be able to spend quality time with their families and friends at the beach.