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Working with people with disabilities.

Since it was formed the Coquet Shorebase Trust has prided itself in making watersports accessible to all. Accessibility was one of the prime considerations when our new facilities for the Braid and Druridge Bay Country Park were designed and developed.

Both sites have excellent accessible and disabled changing and toilet facilities. Boats and canoes suitable for those with disabilities and/or mobility issues are available at both the Braid and Druridge Bay Country Park.

The water’s edge at both sites can be reached by wheel chair users via the shallow sloped slipways. The geography of the Druridge Bay Country Park location has allowed us to install a jetty that protrudes into Ladyburn Lake. This permits us to use a mobility hoist to lift people in and out of watercraft when needed. The hoist is particularly useful for getting people in and out of our small fleet of ‘Access’ dinghies.

We would now like to tell you the story of one person who regularly  uses our accessible facilities. The person’s name has been changed so as to maintain their privacy.

Michael suffered a stroke in 2012 which left him with no feeling in the left side of his body. Previously he enjoyed canoeing, but had to stop due to his disabilities. This  left him with a real sense of loss for the sport that had given him so much pleasure.

His disability also resulted in him becoming reluctant to go outside which resulted in him becoming very depressed.  Last summer he found our webpage and his partner persuaded him to come and see if we could help to get him back on the water.

From here we will let Michael tell you in his own words how the Shorebase was able to help him.

“At first I was very hesitant but I was made to feel instantly at ease.  Liam [one of the instructors] worked with me each week. His encouragement enabled me to find the confidence to get back in a canoe, first of all in a two-man canoe with him, and, after building up my confidence, I have graduated to using a sit-on-top kayak and a sea kayak under his supervision.  I cannot thank him enough for this support and instruction.  He has helped me to regain some joy back into my life.”

Michael ’s new found confidence has meant  he has now joined the Coquet Canoe Club and is much less self-conscious about his mobility issues – helped perhaps by seeing the other wheelchair users in the club enjoying the sport of canoeing.

The link below will take you to the other case study

Hadston Community Involvement.

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