Thanet charity busts through target to buy 15 new all-terrain wheelchairs

The chairs mean people with mobility impairments can get on the beach

A charity’s bid to replace 15 all-terrain wheelchairs has raised £63,000 – £23,000 over its original target.

Beach Within Reach is a small Thanet charity that provides the chairs, free of charge, to anybody who has a mobility impairment, so they can access the isle’s beaches and other areas. Those wanting to use the chairs need to  provide I.D and complete a simple form.

Donations for use of the chairs are welcome to help the charity continue its service.

In April 2016 the charity launched its bid to raise £40,000 to replace its existing chairs, which are 10 years old.

Donations and fundraising by Thanet residents, groups and businesses raised the brilliant total of £63,000 throughout the last 18 months.

Beach Within Reach has now taken delivery of 7 new DeBug wheelchairs, some of which were used on the beaches in August and September this year.

There are 8 more chairs on order which are due for delivery soon and they will be stored over the winter.

Charity secretary Debbie Fifield said: “We are now in a position to be able to refurbish the best of the Landeez wheelchairs that have been used locally for the last 10 years. Once refurbishment is completed we will be donating these wheelchairs to local establishments.”

Although the wheelchairs have been removed from the beaches for the low season, there is a wheelchair available at Ramsgate Tunnels, Wednesday to Sunday all year round. Call the Tunnels directly to pre-book use of this for their tours.

Debbie added: “If you require use of a wheelchair during the low season please email us to discuss your requirements. If it is at all possible to help you then we will.

“There will be full list of businesses and organisations who have donated to Beach Within Reach published on our website in the coming weeks. We will also post progress reports on the refurbishment of the old wheelchairs along with any other news and updates that we have to share with you.

“Finally, we would like to say a huge heartfelt thank you to every single person who has ever put a penny in our collection pots, spent money on the tombola stand or donated to our charity in any way since it began back in 2006. You have contributed to making memories for hundreds of families and that is absolutely priceless.”

Find out more about Beach Within Reach by clicking here

Email beachwithinreach@sky.com

Call 07432 648275 or find the facebook page here