Ability West are pleased to share that they have transferred ownership of a Beach Wheelchair to Galway City Council, to facilitate more people with physical disabilities or limited mobility to access the Blue Flag beach in Salthill. The wheelchair will be available free of charge from LeisureLand, Salthill, Galway, seven days a-week, during opening times. This initiative is supported by Healthy Galway City, which funded an upgraded chair to navigate soft sand, and delivered in partnership with Galway Sports Partnership Active Cities Project.
Speaking about the gesture, Amanda Scott from Ability West commented, “The team at Ability West see this as a great opportunity to partner with the local community and are delighted to be able to make this gesture – it proves that limited ability is not inability! Our aim is to make accessing the beach and water a reality for people with limited mobility and afford users the opportunity to enjoy the beach without difficulty when visiting Salthill. One of the ways we strive for inclusivity in Ability West is by facilitating programmes that promote inclusion within the community. Our ‘All Inclusive Beach Accessible Wheelchairs’ provide just that. This is a first initiative in the West of Ireland to provide people with limited mobility access to the beach and water.”
Kay Diviney, a local resident, who uses the beach wheelchair to access the water said, “To have access to the beach wheelchair has improved my health, flexibility and overall well-being. I rarely miss a Saturday and Wednesday swim with the Gentle Swimmers group. Since using the beach wheelchair, I have developed and perfected a way of getting on and off the wheelchair in the water and going for a 30-minute swim. It is wonderful!”
Mayor of Galway, Cllr. Eddie Hoare commented, “Galway City Council is delighted with this development, as it makes the use of our beaches more accessible. We would like to thank Ability West for their generous donation of this beach wheelchair. The council will now ensure that this is available for the public to use, so that as many people as possible can benefit from the great swimming amenities that we have here in Salthill, year-round.”
Pictured are Ellen Jennings, Renjith Joseph, Ability West; Jason Craughwell Galway Sports Partnership; Amanda Scott, Ability West; Audrey Pigeon, Ability West; Mayor of Galway City, Cllr. Eddie Hoare; Michael Flanagan, Ability West; Kay and Cathal Diviney; Ian Brennan, LeisureLand; Aisling Colreavy, Healthy Galway City.