The world’s first and only accessible strandkorb – a traditional German covered beach chair – was presented to the disabled people’s charity Revitalise by Lower Saxony, Germany, in co-operation with the German National Tourist Office (GNTO) at a ceremony in London yesterday.
The unique, accessible strandkorb, which enables a wheelchair user to sit in comfort, sheltered from the elements, in the company of non-disabled friends and/or carers, was created by Lower Saxony to promote its commitment to fully accessible tourism in Germany.
The strandkorb was presented to Revitalise in recognition of the charity’s championing of accessible tourism at a reception at the German Gymnasium restaurant in London’s King’s Cross.
Disabled guests enjoying breaks at Jubilee Lodge, Revitalise’s respite holiday centre in Chigwell, were specially invited to try out the strandkorb and gave it the thumbs up.
After the event the strandkorb will be delivered to the charity’s South Coast centre, Netley Waterside House in Southampton, where it will take pride of place in the centre’s landscaped gardens overlooking Southampton Water. Revitalise plans to hold an event at Netley Waterside House to celebrate the arrival of the strandkorb later this summer.
The reception was organised by GNTO and Lower Saxony Tourism to officially launch the world’s first accessible Strandkorb as part of the GNTO’s ‘Feeling Fearless’ travel guide – the latest feature of their ‘Barrier Free’ accessible tourism campaign, launched in 2012. ‘Feeling Fearless’ promotes accessible adventure activities in Germany, including things like Skiing, abseiling and whitewater rafting”.
Revitalise Chief Executive Chris Simmonds commented:
“Thank you very much – or should I say ‘danke sehr’ to our friends from Lower Saxony Tourism and the German National Tourist Office for the very generous donation of this unique strandkorb to us. We feel honoured to have been chosen to receive the world’s first fully accessible strandkorb. I am confident it will be a huge hit with our disabled guests.”
Revitalise is a national charity providing respite holidays for disabled people and carers. Revitalise provides short breaks, with 24-hour nurse-led care on-call and personal support, at three accessible centres in Chigwell in Essex, Southampton and Southport. Each centre offers a wide range of accessible activities and excursions in a holiday environment.