Every summer we take a break from both mine and my Mother-in-law’s home and head off to Southend for a Holiday. My Mother-in-law really likes it there as there are a lot of places you can use a wheelchair. When Mobility Nationwide got in touch asking about our trips and places we like, it got us thinking about what had been done to help us get around.
There’s a brand new wheelchair system is in place to help disabled people like my mother-in-law get onto Southend’s beaches safely, thanks to a £5,000 grant from the Echo. There’s also an all-terrain chair will allow people with disabilities to get onto the beach at Thorpe Bay so they can really enjoy the seafront with their families.
It’s all part of a massive project to revive the Tram Stop Shelter in Eastern Esplanade. There’s plans to build new public facilities, including toilets and changing rooms for disabled people. Which is about time!
The Gannett Foundation, run by the Echo’s parent company, has already donated £4,400 to the shelter appeal. This went towards paying for beach matting to be put down to let wheelchair users to get easy access to the beach. We haven’t used it yet but as long as this good weather continues we’ll be down there soon.
Also at Southend on Sea you have the Forum for wheelchair users. The Forum is great for wheelchair users or others with specific access needs. They have wide entrances everywhere so there’s less of those worrying moments when you look at a doorway and wonder if you’re going to get wedged or not.
The toilets, lifts and other parts of the building are also well designed for wheelchairs. It’s surprising how much you notice all these little things whether I’m with my mother-in-law or not. It matters more to me now.
Take a look at the infographic they sent me as well. It’s got some really good ideas for days out, which might mean we end up in a forest instead of on the beach, but we’d have fun either way.
***This is a Collaborative post***