Mae Murray Foundation introduces Benone as Northern Irelandís First Fully Inclusive Beach


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Mae Murray Foundation introduces Benone as Northern Irelandís First Fully Inclusive Beach

01 November 2017

Limavadyís Benone beach is Northern Irelandís first fully inclusive beach, thanks to work carried out by local charity, Mae Murray Foundation in partnership with Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council. The announcement was made at a recent all-ability family fun day, showcasing new equipment, including Northern Irelandís first surfboard suitable for wheelchair users.

girl sitting on front of accessible surfboard with m,an standing up behind her on smae surfboard

Local beaches used to be off-limits for mixed-ability families due to lack of appropriate equipment and facilities for those with additional needs.  However, as a result of fundraising, lobbying and engagement by the Mae Murray Foundation, which seeks to create inclusive environments across Northern Ireland, families of all abilities can now enjoy time at the beach together.

Alix Crawford, founder of the charity, explains:  “Many people, young and old, have never felt sand running through their fingers or experienced the thrill of being in the sea, due to the inaccessibility of beaches.  We’ve bought specialist equipment, including hoists, changing benches, beach chairs, walkers and floating chairs, which can be used by people with limited mobility.  We’ve also developed a relationship with Longline Surf School at Benone which has been helping families to use the surfboard for wheelchair users, one of only two of its kind in the UK.” 

group at the launch of accessible beach

The ethos of Mae Murray Foundation is that families of those with additional needs shouldn’t need to make compromises.  She added:  “We’re working closely with other Councils and have plans to announce at least two other fully inclusive beaches locally by December 2018.

“Families registered with us will receive information on how to pre-book specialist beach items as well as details of future inclusive events.  To register FREE of charge, email info@maemurrayfoundation.orgor visit”

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