The Mae Murray Foundation introduces Benone as NI’s First Fully Inclusive Beach.Limavady’s Benone beach is Northern Ireland’s 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 Ireland’s first surfboard suitable for wheelchair users.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.”
The ethos of Mae Murray Foundation is that families of those with additional needs shouldn’t need to make compromises.