Cranfield Beach, outside Kilkeel, was launched in 2019 as the region’s first ‘inclusive beach’ thanks to work by the Mae Murray Foundation charity in partnership with the Newry, Morne and Down District Council and funding from Sport NI.
The partnership program saw the introduction and provision of amenities such as beach wheelchairs, floating chairs, beach walkers, changing benches, and lifting gear for families and people who may have disabilities. different abilities or needs.
Equipment is available to borrow free of charge and operates strictly on an advance reservation basis, to avoid disappointment.
This year, it is essential, for those who wish to borrow equipment, to carry out a short online safety briefing before booking. The information session will explain how the program works and the measures taken to reduce the risk of the spread of disease.
Mae Murray Foundation Founder Alix Crawford said: “Reservations can now be made for July and August and the key message this year is: please plan ahead. Simply head over to our website and read the six-step booking process. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
“We are delighted to have partnered with Newry, Morne and Down District Council to introduce these facilities to Cranfield Beach and look forward to seeing many people of all ages and abilities benefit.”
Alix continued: “There are many people, young and old, who have never felt the sand flow through their fingers or experienced the thrill of being in the sea, due to the inaccessibility of the beaches. This initiative brought together specialized mobility equipment and personal care equipment that many people need. The program is also extended to organizations and groups – a great way to have a fun day! “
Newry, Morne and Down District Council President Councilor Cathy Mason said, “I am delighted to hear about the experiences this fantastic project has produced since its inception. Beach equipment loan facilities at Cranfield Beach help ensure meaningful participation for all in recreation and social activities, regardless of age or ability. We are delighted to be working closely with Alix and the Mae Murray Foundation on this initiative. “
For more information regarding specialist beach equipment at Cranfield and the booking process, please visit: www.maemurrayfoundation.org/projects/inclusive-beaches/
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