Funding appeal issued after Bamburgh gets first children's beach wheelchair in north Northumberland
Disabled children will be able to reach the golden sands of Bamburgh beach this summer.
A Hippocampe all-terrain children’s beach wheelchair has been delivered to Bamburgh Parish Council and is now available to hire for free.
Cllr Kirsty Dobson said: “We’ve got the wheelchair which is really exciting. We’ve had our first booking from a family with a disabled son who are coming to holiday close to Bamburgh.”
It has been made possible thanks to Beach Access North East (BANE) which secured £3,500 funding from Karbon Homes.
The charity has been working on the scheme alongside the parish council which has been keen to provide access for all to the famous beach.
The parish council is now seeking support from sponsors to help finance a storage shed which has an estimated cost of £5,000.
Cllr Barbara Brook, chairman, said: “It would be great if we could get some support from local companies, or even national, to help us raise the funds for the hut.”
A pre-application has been submitted to Northumberland County Council ahead of a formal planning application for a 4m x 4m shed near the pavilion.
Parish councillors will keep the beach wheelchairs until the shed is built.
Meanwhile, names are now being taken for anyone interested in volunteering.
The wheelchair will also be promoted in local holiday lets to raise awareness among visitors.
A site visit determined that the best route through the dunes to the beach is via the path by the pavilion to the first car park on The Wynding.
“It’s going to be a case of seeing how things work out,” said Cllr Dobson. “In reality that path down by Coastguard Cottage to the first car park is the best path for getting on to the beach and I think that will always be the number one route. The thought of trying to get someone up route B, past the pavilion to the left of the castle and around the dogleg and then up and over would be difficult.
"These wheelchairs can go into water so even if Mill Brook changes its course, as it does regularly, we can still get the wheelchair through the water.”
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