Going to the beach is one of the most exciting and relaxing things to do, especially during summer. People love to enjoy the sand, the waves, and the salty beach water. And it’s wonderful to know that wheelchair users can now do the same.
Beaches used to be a nightmare to wheelchair users. Being unable to navigate the chairs on the sand poses a threat to people with disabilities. That is why it is a rare scene to have wheelchair-bound individuals visit sandy beaches and go sunbathing.
The city council of Lake Macquarie knows of this struggle. So they strive hard to change it. And finally, their efforts paid off. A welcome mat will soon be rolled out to individuals using a mobility device, elderly people and even pram-pushing mothers.
The council recently won the Creating Liveable Communities Competition with the prize of $35,000. The state government’s contest aims to provide grants or give funds to make imaginative solutions a reality. The contest seeks to tear down barriers that wheelchair users and older people face. And with the money, the council plans to address one of the many problems facing people with mobility needs.
Jodie Harrison, Mayor of Lake Macquarie, stated that many people have been requesting the council for improvements on the city’s beaches so that wheelchair users can access them. She also added that the council has been making improvements to many of the beaches but with the prize they recently won, more enhancements will be done in the beaches to better meet the needs of all people. She further stated that beach matting is their plan of making the beach accessible to wheelchair users and it will be done soon.
Caves Beach, one of the city’s popularly visited beaches, is chosen for the beach matting. The provision of the beach mat is yet to be scheduled. The city’s surf lifesaving club is asked to help for the beach matting operation.
Through the beach mat, wheelchair users will be given equal privilege or opportunity to access the beach and enjoy everything it has to offer. And with this opportunity, they will have the chance to join in water activities, sunbathe, enjoy the sand, the water and its waves, and have fun and relax.
With the beach mat, individuals with disabilities and people on wheelchairs will no longer envy those who are soaking their feet in the sand or loving the salty scent of the beach. They can enjoy the beach as long as they want, anytime they want, because the beach mat makes the beach a nightmare no more.