Community support

Funding level: Up to £1,000


The Tram Stop Shelter is a community based project run by a group of volunteers formed with the aim of providing a Community Hub with fully inclusive facilities to our local seafront in Thorpe Bay.

Having consulted a large number of people, including individuals, groups representing or caring for disabled people and others with family members who have needs, it became apparent that many people are being excluded from activities at our sea resort due to the lack of a number of facilities. People were telling us that they didn’t bother visiting our town due to issues with access onto the beach, changing, toilets and the non availability of shelter from extreme hot weather or rain. As a result they were missing out on the social and health benefits of having a day out at the seaside with their friends and family members. Along our local sea front there is nowhere suitable for disabled people to change or shower and there is a distinct a lack of disabled toilets in the area.

Until recently wheelchair access onto our local beach wasn’t possible, but through our fund raising efforts we have managed to purchase and install a pathway comprising of heavy duty interlocking plastic mats placed onto the sand. As well as helping wheelchair users gain access to our beach, it has also benefited others such as those with walking difficulties and families with young children in pushchairs. In addition we have also acquired special wheelchairs which are available for hire free of charge. These special chairs are easily pushed along the sand and are in sizes to suit both adults and children. Now wheelchair users have access to our beach and they are able to feel the sea and sand between their toes as well as being able to spend time enjoying themselves with their friends and family.

With the help of support from local businesses other charities and members of the public, we are currently raising funds so that we can rebuild an old shelter on the Thorpe Bay seafront, which remains our main ambition. We request £1,000 towards our estimated building cost of £200,000.

The new building will contain a proper changing room for disabled people with an overhead hoist and changing table, a shower, disabled toilets and a space where people can sit and relax, socialise and have refreshments while admiring the outside view. Electric power points will also be available for recharging batteries for items of personal equipment. With access to the beach alongside the building, there would be no concerns about toilets, changing or the need to shelter from a sudden turn in the weather as the facilities will be close by.

Having received planning permission for our building earlier this year we have since employed a team comprising of an architect, engineers and a quantity surveyor to complete the design work, ready to put our project out to tender before Christmas. Our goal is to have the new building in place before the end of next year.

We are currently in contact with 95 groups and organisations, both local and others from the south east counties who have a great deal of interest and enthusiasm about our project. These groups represent people such as those with physical disabilities, blind and partially sighted people, dementia sufferers, people with mental health and those with learning difficulties just to name a few. In addition we also have many other people keen to use the building such as schools, art groups, bird watchers, health and fitness groups etc. all looking forward to the day when they will be able to use the new facility.

Our plan is to create an accessible and well designed building which is well suited for a wide range of social and community activities, providing a safe base for all ages and groups.

Tram Stop Shelter

Moment of Pride

We believe that our project would make a positive contribution to our area, proving a new focal point for both the local community and others coming into town and will give all people the opportunity of being able to have a good day out at the seaside.

Location: Thorpe Esplanade, Southend-on-Sea SS1 3BA, United Kingdom