Disabled people in Sheffield will be able to experience the best the seaside has to offer this summer, thanks to a new free scheme.
A charity local to Ingoldmells has raised over £20,000 to fund the free hire of beach wheelchairs to those visiting the coastal village, to help people with disabilities to gain full access to its beaches.
Beach Ability Ingoldmells started raising funds five years ago. The charity was launched by Ingoldmells and Chapel Fans - a group of holidaymakers and caravan owners - on their Facebook page.
Teresa Price, of Beach Ability Ingoldmells, said: “At the moment, we see people sat in wheelchairs on the prom, watching from a distance as their family and friends enjoy the sand and sea. We had people with disabilities commenting on our Facebook group page that they had problems accessing the beach.
“We decided it was time to finally do something about it.
“In the first eight weeks of fundraising, we raised over £8,000. We had local tradesmen donating items to auction, local caravan owners donating short-break holidays in their caravans, and plenty of members donating cash.
“We’ve also had great support from Russ Sparks of the Governor Hotel in Skegness, who recently bought some of Ingoldmells beach and promenade, and he kindly gave us a container to run the scheme from on Ingoldmells promenade.”
The chairs, called Debugs, have special inflated wheels that glide over the sand, and will allow users to dip their toes in the sea. The scheme launched this month with two beach access wheelchairs, and will run on the promenade until the end of October. It is hoped now that the scheme will grow, to support other Ingoldmells beach, as well as the nearby beaches of Chapel and Winthrope.
Teresa added: “We know lots of people from Sheffield that come to holiday in Ingoldmells and we know what a huge benefit this scheme could be to them. We hope to see them on the beach in Ingoldmells this summer.”
Visit beach-ability.co.uk to book this free service.