Community support

Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000

Description

"On the way home all my friends were going for a paddle in the sea as it looked lovely but because I was in my wheelchair I couldn't join in"

The given comment was made by a local 15 year old who, despite being confined to a wheelchair does her utmost to lead a 'normal' and active teenage lifestyle within our coastal community. Her inspirational high level of personal commitment and charismatic personality is however continually challenged by circumstances and attitudes outwith her control.

This simple wish to feel the seawater and sand on her feet and between her toes is unfortunately not unique to this young person. The absence of wheelchair accessible pathway onto our beach is continually highlighted as a major issue and barrier for wheelchair bound members of both, the local community and visiting tourists and families. In addition to the beach's natural attraction for children several wheelchair bound tourists have also voiced their disappointment at being 'A far off spectator' whilst their partner and children have fun on the beach.

" I want to sit beside my kids and help them dig the sandcastle, not sit up here and wave to them"

Girvan Youth Trust ( GYT ) now seek to redress this long standing and discriminative issue. Our research into the matter has us believe that we would be the first Scottish seaside resort to implement such a beach facility.

First established in 1999, GYT is a community owned and youth driven grassroots youth charity who engage and support over 300 12-18 year olds including 46 young people with ASN ( additional support needs ). Our work is currently carried out by 7 full time members of staff, 10 voluntary Trustees and a core base of 60 local adult and youth volunteers.

The aim of GYT is to improve the quality of life for all local young people living in Girvan and the surrounding 7 rural villages. Girvan is in the top 15% of the SMID index in regards to social and economic deprivation.

Our on going 'hands on' youth work has resulted in local young people becoming recognised and valued as the lead community group in the rebranding and regeneration of our once thriving and vibrant traditional fishing port / seaside resort.

The Trust has, since 2012, successfully operated the public boating pond under a SLA with the local authority. This seasonal youth training project has been further developed with the introduction of a yearly 12 week summer programme of seafront family entertainment and activities. The success of our 'A Day at the Seaside, A Lifelong Memory' summer programme has generated a heightened public awareness and increased tourist footfall to Girvan.

Our proposed installation of a heavy duty plastic wheelchair accessible pathway and designated family stations on the beach is considered a progressive and complimentary part of the wider community's effort to improve our seafront.

* The path will create and provide a unique opportunity for wheelchair users to access
our beach and sea.
*The promotion of Girvan beach as wheelchair accessible will create a greater footfall of
wheelchair bound tourists and thereby have a positive impact on our local economy.
*The greater integration and total inclusion of wheelchair users on the beach will also
help challenge, change and remove stigmatisation towards wheelchair users and
people with a disability.
* Wheelchair users will have the choice to feel the sand and seawater between their toes
and on their feet.
* The building of 'Family Sandcastles' will become a reality.

A total of 100 metres of a heavy duty interlocking plastic path system is required, the projected total cost of this purchase is £8354. There is no financial gain to GYT in regards to this project, all necessary admin and labour will be provided ' IN KIND' by GYT staff and volunteers, supported by other adult community groups and committees.

The equipment will be installed and all work completed by summer 2017.

GIRVAN YOUTH TRUST

Location: Girvan

Girvan Youth Trust is a portal of opportunity to help, encourage and nurture local young people to 'come of age' in regards to becoming responsible and innovative thinking citizens particularly towards making a positive change for others less fortunate and / or marginalised within our community.
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