A specially-adapted beach wheelchair, which was one of two originally donated to Weston Hospicecare by the Axentis Michael Charitable Trust in 2016, has been loaned to Weston’s Visitor Information Centre (VIC).

The hospice, along with Nitsa and Sophia Michael who were representing the trust, handed over the wheelchair after both parties agreed with VIC managers to make the wheelchair available to people with disabilities or mobility issues in order to improve access to the beach.

Weston Hospicecare’s Director of Fundraising and Communications, Alison Sopp said: “We were kindly donated two beach wheelchairs by the Axentis Michael fund in 2016 with the purpose of giving our patients the chance to access the beach.

“We noticed we were not using both wheelchairs frequently and we approached the fund to propose loaning one to the Visitor Information Centre so those in the community who have a disability or mobility problems can comfortably access our beautiful beach.

“The fund felt the same way and they have very kindly offered their support for our proposed idea to give something back to the community who consistently support Weston Hospicecare.”

The beach wheelchair will become the first available in the area for people to use and Visit Weston’s Tourism Marketing Officer, Ellie Somers said: “The beach wheelchair will now allow anyone to access our beautiful beach here in Weston-super-Mare.

“We are very proud to say we are the first area in Somerset to have these life-changing facilities, and we look forward to everyone being able to make the most of their visits to Weston.

“We are extremely grateful to the Axentis Michael fund and also to Weston Hospicecare for approaching the Visitor Information Centre with this idea and we are delighted to be able to make the beach wheelchair available later in the summer.

“Since the Weston Visitor Information Centre opened in 2015, we have received a lot of interest via email and telephone relating to beach wheelchairs and it will be great to see people, who have unfortunately been unable to go onto the beach previously, enjoy the experience thanks to the kind donation from Weston Hospicecare and Axentis Michael Charitable Trust.”

For more information about when the beach wheelchair will be available to hire, please visit www.visit-westonsupermare.com or contact the Visitor Information Centre by calling 01934 888877 or by emailing ellie.allensomers@wsm-tc.gov.uk.

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