Beach Wheelchairs come to Coldingham Sands
This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Walking Aid, Wheelchair, Powerchair, Mobility Scooter
For years, people have been coming to Coldingham sands, to walk, swim surf or body board and to search the rockpools. Disabled or infirm people have just had to watch on from the disabled parking bays overlooking the beach, although there is an accessible boardwalk that they can sit in their wheelchair to look out from. The project was officially launched on the 14th July 2019 and has gathered momentum, although, like everwhere else, this has been curtailed in 2020 due to the Pandemic. Further information regarding this project (including booking information) can be found on the ‘Sea the Change’ website - https://www.seathechange.org.uk/beach-wheelchairs or the project’s Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/ColdinghamBeachWheelchair There are three different types of beach wheelchair available for use, catering for adults and children alike. Details of these can be found on both the website and Facebook pages. It is recommended that the potential user looks into what they feel would be most suitable to their requirements. There is also a hoist available, although the user would have to bring their own sling to use with the hoist.
Transport & Parking
There are two disabled parking bays down at the beach. Discussions with the local authority are ongoing about getting a third parking bay. In the summer, Coldingham bay can be very busy and you may find that these bays may be occupied on arrival. If this is the case we recommend that the wheelchair user is let out at the parking bays and the driver takes the car upto the main carpark. However, we realise that this may not be feasible but unfortunately the project does cannot reserve a parking bay
Once parked down at the beach, the hoist and beach wheelchair can be brought to where you are parked, or you can go to the hut. If required the user’s own wheelchair can be stored in the hut. I would point out that the path to the hut is slopped and can be a bit of a challenge to push a wheelchair up. This ios why I would ask the volunteer to bring the beach wheelchair to where you are parked.
There is a disabled toilet on close by to the parking, accessible by a Radar Key, although admittedly I have not use them. The beach wheelchair volunteer will have a radar key if you don’t have your own.
The project relies on volunteers to deliver this service and the person assisting will do their utmost to make your visit to use the beach wheelchair an enjoyable one. As is normal, they cannot assist with the transfer to and from the beach wheelchair.
Anything else you wish to tell us?
Coldingham sands bay is lovely and very popular, hence it can get quite busy. There is a beach café, currently offering a takeaway service during the pandemic. To the side of the café, there is a table with a ‘seating space’ that allows for a wheelchair to be at the table. During ‘Summer months’ the RNLI have a life guarding presence. Signage from the main car park is a bit sparse and being looked at between the local authority and the project leaders.