An insider's guide to the county's best kept secrets
Let’s help make Norfolk beaches accessible for all...
Today I was introduced to a young woman who is an
inspiration to us all. She is bed bound with a long term
illness of 13 years and is fast approaching her 30th birthday.
We tend to plan something special for such a landmark
event but when you’re very ill it’s not easy coming up with
a suitable celebration. Vikki George has big plans however,
she’s devised a list of 30 wishes but here comes the twist –
she has these plans in her head but is stuck 24/7 in a hospital
bed. So we need to do them for her!
No 3 on her list is as follows:
“I would like to raise funds for a beach wheelchair for disabled
visitors and locals to North Norfolk to use for free. I need to
raise £6000 (£12,000 for two ideally) for a special chair that
can be pushed on sand and various terrains, it can even go
into the sea. The chair has a tilt/recline function which some
people require due to their disability and for others it’s just nice
to lay back on the beach. It also has a parasol for when the sun
"I have selected Wells-next-the-Sea beach as it’s somewhere I have happy memories of with my Nan; we used to go there a lot until she stopped being able to walk. She passed away this year after a 50 year battle with MS and I would like to do it in memory of her. I know she would love people to be able to have fun because of her. Wells beach is a stunning place but for most disabled people they only get to see the car park!”
Currently the only beach in Norfolk to have the facility of such a chair is Great Yarmouth. After talking with Vikki, we decided that ideally Norfolk could benefit from two more chairs, first one in Wells – as per Vikki’s wishes - and then one around the Heacham/Hunstanton area.
"A day at the seaside is a treat that many of us take for granted, but for many wheelchair users in this country, this past time is only a distant dream. Standard wheelchairs are not beach-friendly. Having the oppertunity to have access to a beach wheelchair allows the user to enjoy a day at the seaside with friends, family or simple alone; a small activity with huge benefits."
"Walking on the beaches in Norfolk has always been my favourite thing to do but ever since my health detioriated I have been forced to sit on a bench or in the car and watch whilst my family go out on the sand and enjoy themselves. Having a beach wheelchair available would enable me to join my family and enjoy my trips to the beach once more which is something I haven't been able to do for years." Catherine Bowden