Weston Hospicecare and the Axentis Michael Charitable Trust loaned a beach wheelchair to the Weston-super-Mare Visitor Information Centre last month and it has recently played a vital role for a family visit.

Weston day visitor, Lucy Hiatt, from Oxfordshire visited the seafront on 22 July with her family and hired the beach wheelchair for her Nan, Valerie Findlay.

Valerie has suffered two strokes in the last year and mobility has become more challenging and less comfortable as a result.

Lucy said: “Unfortunately Nan has had two strokes in the last year, which has left her with limited mobility and unable to walk more than 20 steps with a frame, without having to sit down and semi-paralysis down the right side.

“Nan has been a bit down lately, she used to be such a busy person helping us all out, and now spends all of her time at home. We wanted her to have a nice day out, and what better place is there to have a day out than the beach.

“We were super surprised when we got there and found out Nan was the first to use the wheelchair through the Visitor Information Centre.

“The beach wheelchair was fantastic, it meant we could take Nan on to the beach with us so she could watch the children play, have a picnic and stroke the donkeys, she felt included in everything we did. We really did have a fabulous day and made some very special memories. It was easy to manoeuvre on the beach, we didn’t get stuck, and she was comfortable.”

In 2016, Weston Hospicecare were given two specially adapted beach wheelchairs by the Axentis Michael Charitable Trust and earlier this year it was realised both chairs were not being used to their full potential.

One adapted chair was loaned to the VIC to be used by members of the community and visitors with mobility issues or disabilities. For information about how to hire the beach wheelchair please contact the VIC directly.

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