New scheme in Fleetwood helping residents and locals in a northwest of England first

A brand new beach wheelchair scheme to prevent people being excluded when going to the beach with their families has launched in Fleetwood – the first scheme of its kind in the North West.

Run by the Fleetwood Beach Wheelchair group, a registered charity, the specialised, all terrain chairs will be available to be hired for free- giving as many people as possible the chance to get on the beach.

Today (Saturday) sees the unveiling of the fleet of specially adapted wheelchairs, which will enable visitors and locals to enjoy the amazing coastline and not have to stay on the promenade while watching family and friends play on the sand or strolling along the sea. They will now be able to join their families on the sands.

Beach wheelchairs have been designed to be light and manoeuvre well on sand.

Yesterday, a hoist to transfer clients to the special chairs, was delivered to the Fleetwood Beach Wheelchair group.

Alan Reid, says: “This really is fantastic and I am sure that it will prove to be very popular. Any scheme which stops people from feeling excluded and helps people to feel included is another step in the right direction for the Fylde Coast.

“In the past 18 months, our project has already proved that barriers can be broken down and we can become the most fully-inclusive part of the North West and become a beacon of best practice for coastal resorts across the UK.

“This fantastic new initiative is another great example and we wish the Fleetwood Beach Wheelchair group all the very best for their launch. Given the reaction so far to the scheme, you can see how much people want these projects and we wish them all of the best of luck for the future.”

Fleetwood Town council provided a funding grant of almost £8,000 which was used to buy additional chairs, including ones suitable for younger users.

The scheme will be launched between 10am and 4pm on Saturday and the specially adapted chairs will be available to hire – free – from the charity’s premises on the central promenade, just past Marine Hall (opposite the mount hotel).

Sessions will be 2 hours initially, but the group hopes that they will be able to expand it.

For more information, call 03000 111003 or see the website Fleetwood Beach Wheelchairs

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