Guernsey Beach Wheelchair scheme is a charity project that has provided 3 specially designed manual, beach wheelchairs for use on the beach and other rough terrain.
Who is it for?
Beach Wheelchairs is for any person who finds that, for whatever reason, they have difficulty to walk on the beach.
People with long term disability from conditions such as stroke; multiple sclerosis; Parkinson’s; head injury; motor neurone disease; spinal injury and cerebral palsy.
People with temporary mobility impairment such as those with a leg in plaster.
People who are weakened by medical conditions such as breathing difficulties or cancers.
The elderly, who are not disabled but may be frail and find the beach a challenging environment to walk on.
Those who would like to attend weddings, birthday parties and family gatherings.
Regular local users and visitors to the island.
How does it work?
Chairs are held in a secure location at Pembroke, housed in their own dedicated space.
New users will have a quick induction at the beach, a short disclaimer form completed and signed. We show you how the lock and doors work, the chairs and how to clean them ready for next user.
Then the users can make a booking via the Website or e-mail giving 24 hours notice.
The online booking requests will be acknowledged automatically by email, then the actual booking confirmed by an admin person.
If the user is a regular user they still make a booking but will not have to complete the form every time, once familiar they will not need a volunteer to meet them.
Once a booking is made, arrangements will be made for a volunteer to meet new users at the beach for the induction.
How much does it cost?
The Chairs are free to loan to anybody who has a mobility impairment.
There is no set charge for using the wheelchairs although donations from users would be welcomed and encouraged.
WHEN ARE THE CHAIRS AVAILABLE AND HOW FAR IN ADVANCE DO I NEED TO RESERVE ONE?
We are open all year. You can book online.
We try to respond as quickly as possible to requests for a chair booking we are but are not “on -site”. If possible, book at least 24 hours in advance.
HOW LONG CAN I USE THE CHAIR FOR?
You can use one of our chairs for up to 3 hours. Arrangements can be made if you would like to have the chair longer or have regular access to a beach chair.
CAN I USE THE CHAIR ON A REGULAR BASIS?
If you wish to use the chairs on a regular basis we can offer some basic training on the safety features of the chairs and our cleaning requirements to leave chairs in a good state for the next user.
You may then access the chairs at their storage facility without the need of support from our volunteers. This will allow more spontaneous outings; all we ask is that you book before taking out a chair to make sure it is not double booked. If this is of interest to you, please ask about “Regular User” training at time of booking.
IS THERE A HOIST AVAILABLE?
Currently there is not a hoist but we will look to get one if the demand is there for one.
WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO CONSIDER OR BRING?
It can get breezy on the beach and even on a sunny day can be cool. so you should also wear sufficient warm clothing.
BE SURE TO CHECK THE TIDES
Make sure you check the tides times that the tide is not high. However, if you are a planning a day at the beach you can use the chairs on the common for a picnic till the tide goes down.
If there has been high tides or winds the storm boards will be up at the top of the slipway making the beach not accessible.
WHAT IF THE WEATHER TURNS BAD?
We fully understand that weather conditions can change, if you need to cancel your booking please let us know as soon as possible, by E-mail please firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT SIZE ARE THE CHAIRS?
The dimensions of the chair must be suitable to accommodate your size.
Adult DeBug chair: Seat width and depth are 50cm (20 inches).
Adult Sandcruiser chair: Seat 48cm seat height, with raising armrests
The maximum weight the adult chair can hold is 25 stone or 158kg.
Child/small adult chair: Seat width and depth are 36cms (14 inches).
The maximum weight the Child chair can hold is 18 stone or 120kg.
CAN THE CHAIRS GO IN THE WATER?
Chairs are suitable for paddling but not for swimming.
WILL HELP BE AVAILABLE?
We have a friendly team of supporters one of whom will meet you at the beach location. They will give you a demonstration of the wheelchair and see you safely on your way. The whole process takes no longer than 15 minutes.
Please note we are unable to help you get into the beach wheelchairs. You will need to be accompanied by an adult helper/s to assist with transfers and to push the wheelchair. It is likely to require 2 adults to get you back up the slipway.
Your Helper needs to be fit enough to push the wheelchair across the sand and up and down the slipways.