Beach Access North East (BANE) wheelchair service image

Beach Access North East (BANE) is looking to expand its free wheelchair service across the North East coast to help tackle accessibility issues in the area.

Established in 2017, the charity provides wheelchairs free of charge to people with reduced mobility so that they can enjoy the shores of North East England. The charity also organises events to raise funds and create inclusive and accessible social activities open to wheelchair users.

Now, BANE is looking to expand its wheelchair service into Bamburgh and Beadnell in Northumberland to help tackle accessibility issues in the area.

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A spokesperson for the charity said: “BANE is determined to make our beautiful Northumberland shores accessible for all. Lockdown has brought social isolation to many, particularly people living alone or those who have been shielding.

“Alongside many other charity organisations BANE will strive to contribute to the mental wellbeing of disabled people and their families in the coming months, providing the free service to access the beach.”

The charity recently visited Bamburgh with a Hippocampe all-terrain wheelchair to assess the best possible route through the dunes.

Bamburgh Parish Cllr Kirsty Dobson told the Northumberland Gazette that the council feels BANE’s expansion plans are doable in the area.

“We tried a variety of routes, from the first car park along The Wynding, from the Pavilion and from The Links car park,” she said. “We felt the Pavilion access was the best. The first car park is also a possibility but there could be issues at high tide, while The Links was deemed too far to get to the beach in a heavy chair. All in all, it was deemed a project we could do.”

Bamburgh Parish Council has agreed to fund a storage shed near the cricket club containers in the area and will seek volunteers to run the project when the time is right.

As part of the wheelchair service, BANE would supply an adult chair and a child’s chair but the council says it is keen to explore other fund-raising opportunities.

“We could maybe apply to be the castle’s charity of the year,” added Cllr Dobson. “Ultimately, the parish council might want to buy its own chair.”

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https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/BANE-wheelchair-scheme-1.jpg?fit=720%2C712&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/BANE-wheelchair-scheme-1.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Sarah SarsbyNewsroomSector NewsThird Sectorall-terrain wheelchair,Bamburgh Parish Council,BANE,Beach Access North East,mobility equipment,mobility service,wheelchair charity,wheelchair scheme,wheelchair serviceBeach Access North East (BANE) is looking to expand its free wheelchair service across the North East coast to help tackle accessibility issues in the area.Established in 2017, the charity provides wheelchairs free of charge to people with reduced mobility so that they can enjoy the shores of North...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals