Just a year ago, one of our volunteers saw a wheelchair user, a young girl sitting on the promenade alongside her father, watching her mother and siblings playing on the beach. This sad, unfair sight prompted tears, determination and a proposal at the September Annual General Meeting of Newbiggin Heritage Partnership to research a solution and seek funding to rectify the situation in Newbiggin by the Sea. It was unanimously agreed to make our wonderful beach accessible to all.
The first action was to contact and meet with Beach Access North East in Tynemouth... we learned that approximately £18000 would ensure all ages/disabilities could enjoy a day on the beach and even be able to dip their toes in the sea by providing three Hippocampe and one electric Freedom Trax Beach Wheelchairs.
Little did we know that everyone would be very eager to help those who could only watch. Once we asked and posted our aim on our Face Book page the response was tremendous and we made it.
Thanks to the Mann Trust who sent a cheque by return of post, two local families who gave a substantial amount in memory of loved ones, The Dukes School who held a Free Dress day and donated half of what they raised, the Community Chest, TK Maxx staff donations, Barbour Trust, Sir John Hall hand delivered his cheque, Newbiggin Heritage Partnership donation, Amanda from Suffolk who sent knitted toys for us to sell, the AB Group who flew up from Southampton to present a cheque, Newbiggin Coop, Rothley Trust, Sandra Rutter for donating a painting to raffle, everyone who dropped a donation into our box. Thank you all, for bringing so many smiles over the summer..... What next? Watch this space!