Disability Accessibility Beach
Back in 2010 we introduced the first ever Disability Accessibility Beach as we all thought that it wasn’t satisfying enough to just give a charity a cheque at the end of the event. We wanted to get the children the charity supported more involved and allow them to experience something new. Working in conjunction with Surf life Saving GB; we now continue to facilitate disability groups as diverse as Cerebral Palsy sufferers, Downs-Syndrome, Partially Sighted/blind and kids afflicted with Chromosome Deficiency -allowing kids who often have not even been on the beach before- access to the sea.
The “Paddle” staff work to a ratio of 3-1 to enable each child the support they needed. Paddle purchased new wetsuits/lifejackets for all the kids. We borrow from BHCC seafront office balloon-wheeled wheelchairs (specifically designed for beaches and for going into the sea), build decking on the stone-beaches to allow easy access and provide specific WC and changing facilities.
The groups were able to experience surfing, kayaking, SUP, dingy sailing and yacht sailing (as they wished), however many were content to simply experience the power of the waves. – remember most of these kids have never even been on a beach before let alone gone into the sea!
From Sophie Lynch, Senior Care Officer, Children’s Disability Service-
“The paddle round the pier event was really good and our young people enjoyed it immensely. Your staff on were incredibly enthusiastic and really sensitive to our young people’s needs. The amount of staff you were able to provide was fantastic and I don’t know how much experience they had with disabilities, but they took their lead from us and were happy to work with the young people with & without us.
The equipment supplied suited our needs and we really enjoyed it. It gave the young people an opportunity they would otherwise not have had.
Thank you for organising a great day out for us and our young people.”
If you wish to get involved then get in touch as we are waiting to hear from carers / leader of groups as described above. We also always need more volunteers specifically to support the kids on the beach. It’s probably one of the most rewarding things we do at Paddle!
individual carer / group contact – firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteers contact – email@example.com