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Beach wheelchairs introduced for seaside visitors with limited mobility

PUBLISHED: 15:17 31 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:17 31 May 2019

Sentinel Leisure Trust has invested more than £7,000 to provide two beach wheelchairs, which can be hired on Lowestoft South Beach. Picture: Sentinel Leisure Trust

Sentinel Leisure Trust has invested more than £7,000 to provide two beach wheelchairs, which can be hired on Lowestoft South Beach. Picture: Sentinel Leisure Trust

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Specially designed equipment will allow those confined to wheelchairs to enjoy Lowestoft's sandy beach like never before.

Andrew Provan is looking forward to using the new beach wheelchairs available on Lowestoft South Beach. Picture: Andrew ProvanAndrew Provan is looking forward to using the new beach wheelchairs available on Lowestoft South Beach. Picture: Andrew Provan

Sentinel Leisure Trust has invested more than £7,000 to provide two brand new beach wheelchairs, fitted with large pneumatic wheels which will help users slide across sand on Lowestoft South Beach more easily.

They are already available for people with limited mobility to hire from Sentinel's beach office (hut 106), where a beach officer will look after traditional wheelchairs in the meantime.

Andrew Provan, who has been using a wheelchair his entire life, believes the new amenity is a welcome addition to the town.

"I'm very pleased that we have got some beach wheelchairs to supplement the accessibility mats which are already on our beaches," said Mr Provan. "It's very hard for people to push over the sand in their manual wheelchairs.

Sentinel Leisure Trust has invested more than £7,000 to provide two beach wheelchairs, which can be hired on Lowestoft South Beach. Picture: Sentinel Leisure TrustSentinel Leisure Trust has invested more than £7,000 to provide two beach wheelchairs, which can be hired on Lowestoft South Beach. Picture: Sentinel Leisure Trust

"I look forward to using the new wheelchairs during the summer to get down to the sea, and hopefully holidaymakers will come and use them as well.

"They need to be kept in a sensible place during the winter and, although it is expensive to buy one, I feel there needs to be a manual hoist that can be used on the beach."

The state-of-the-art wheelchairs are free to use, with only a £20 refundable cash deposit required. Pushers are required due to the wheels being difficult to manhandle in the conventional manner.

If you would like to use a beach wheelchair, call Sentinel on either 01502 586167 or 07770684692 to check their availability.

- Users must be able to transfer themselves from their usual wheelchair onto a beach wheelchair as there is not currently a hoist available. They are supplied with a chest strap but do not have a head support.

- The maximum permitted weight is 25 stone (350lbs/158kg). Children must be at least 3ft (92cm) tall to fit in the chair.

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