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A New Walkway To The Beach For Wheelchair Users

We love going to the beach, the feel of the sand under our feet and the sound of the waves crashing, its extremely relaxing. Now, thanks to a volunteer community group, disabled visitors will soon be able to enjoy Canvey’s Thorney Bay beach even more. Canvey Bay Watch, a group of volunteers who care for and look after the beach, have been in talks with the Environment Agency to overhaul parts of the seafront to make it easier to access. 

The work includes building walkways on the beach, in Eastern Esplanade, as well as areas where people can park their wheelchairs and new picnic benches. John Webb, a Bay Watch member, told the Echo that the work was being funded by a local company - but refused to give details on how much was granted and where the cash had come from just yet. He said that the group are waiting on the final green light from the Environment Agency. He said: “We are going to put some pathways onto the sand for people so they can get their wheelchairs on the beach easily and park up and enjoy the area. “It is so they can wheel on the sand. “We have already got verbal permission from the Environment Agency but it’s not 100 per cent complete yet. “It’s something that we have wanted to do to make sure that everyone can enjoy the beach.” He added that the group are also raising money to tarmac a slope to make it easier for people with wheelchairs to make their way to the beach. He said: “At the moment the surface is very uneven and wheelchairs have difficulty getting down the slope. “If anyone would like to make a contribution towards this, they would be welcome.” 

Seventeen members of the Canvey Bay Watch have been out in force this week to make the bay clean and tidy in preparation for the raft race, which will take place on Sunday, June 11. A crowdfunding campaign was launched in March to help rejuvenate the beach and has so far raised a staggering £2,260. We at ABP Southend are extremely happy that the beach can now be enjoyed by even more of our community and are excited to see the new walkway put to use when it finally gets its final green light!