Easter Friday was the best day of 2016 so far for me. For the first time in over two years I had a little independence. We hired a motorised wheelchair on Perranporth Beach and I got to zoom off along the beach ON MY OWN and it felt so amazing!!!
Since falling ill, I have had to use a wheelchair on the small occasions when I am well enough to go out. Someone (almost always my Mum or boyfriend, Paddy) has to push me as my arms are too weak, and fatigue too great to do it myself. Going out for an hour or two is a huge deal and takes up all of my spoons (energy) for the day so my body simply wouldn’t cope with me trying to wheel myself around. Whenever we visit the beach, I have to sit at the sidelines and watch as my boyfriend runs along the beach with our little dog Copper (not that i’m complaining as I love to just sit and watch them and take in the sea air). However, using the motorised beach wheelchair was absolutely brilliant as I could get onto the beach, and go off on my own – with little Copper chasing behind me! I could also ‘walk’ alongside Paddy, hand-in-hand rather than having him pushing behind me. I couldn’t recommend the experience more to fellow spoonies (those also suffering from chronic illness), it was just the best feeling to be so close to the sea and 100% worth the payback that followed! I cannot explain just how happy I was that day, and Paddy too
Initially I was a little nervous as I was worried about crashing into people with the giant wheels but you quickly get the hang of it You control it with a joystick and have the option of 5 different speeds so you can choose whichever speed suits you. Perranporth beach is absolutely huge so theres lots of room to race around. The chair is comfortable but I’d recommend taking an extra cushion to support your back as the seat is quite deep. Also if you suffer from sound sensitivity, take some ear plugs. The motor makes a small whirring sound and wheels creek a little (which you will hear in the video below). I think I will do that next time.
How can I hire the motorised beach wheelchair?
Mobius , who are an adventure activity centre based on Perranporth beach, work with the charity Disability Cornwall to offer a range of beach activities for the disabled. Mobius hire out the motorised beach wheelchair which was originally bought for students with a disability to use during their kite lessons, but was instantly made available to everyone for hire! You need to ring up in advance to book it so that it’s there waiting for you in the beach car park when you arrive. It costs £3 per hour which I think is incredibly reasonable and the money goes to the charity. We decided to pay a little more than required as we think it’s such a brilliant service! We will without doubt be returning in the summer to have another go and I cannot wait!
They also have 2 beach wheelchairs that aren’t motorised that someone can push too.
Have you ever used a beach wheelchair? Do you know of other beaches that offer this service?