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Caswell Bay welcomes new disability changing places

Swansea Council has secured support from Welsh Government's Tourism Amenity Investment Scheme (TAIS) to make Caswell Bay a truly accessible destination for visitors with severe disabilities.

Caswell Bay

The scheme aims to install brand new, high-quality Changing Places facilities in the car park as well as investing in specialist beach equipment to allow severely disabled visitors to access and enjoy the water. A storage unit will also be purchased to store the new equipment safely.

There are currently no Changing Places facilities anywhere on Gower. This self-contained unit is specifically designed for people with profound and multiple learning or physical disabilities. It addresses specific needs by providing specialist equipment such as an electric hoist, shower, toilet and changing bed, enabling changing and washing in a clean and safe environment. 

An estimated 250,000 disabled visitors are severely restricted in their choices of destinations and activities across the UK. This project has the potential to change the lives of thousands of visitors with severe disabilities and their carers, and attract many more to our area.

Swansea Council is working in close partnership with Surfability UK and local tourism businesses to deliver this project in 2019 in line with Swansea's corporate priorities and the Destination Management Plan.

Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Investment, Regeneration and Tourism, said: "Caswell Bay is one of our Blue Flag beaches and the introduction of a Changing Places facility will improve accessibility for disabled people and their families to enjoy time-out at one of Gower's most popular beaches.

"The Council has a long-standing commitment to introducing Changing Places facilities and this joint effort is a great example of partnership working between the various council teams involved and Caswell businesses to add a major new asset to the community."

Surfability UK is based in Caswell and provides surfing lessons and experiences for people with all types of disabilities and learning difficulties. They launched the UK's first ever 'seated tandem surfboard' enabling them to take children and adults out in the waves, who would not otherwise be able to experience surfing. Their work is supported by Children in Need and the Princes Trust Enterprise Programme.

Suzanne Morrison, who runs award winning Bramwood Accessible Holiday Home on Gower and whose son John has quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy, said: "John requires 24/7 care, we therefore know what it takes to book a holiday without equipment and care. He is the inspiration behind this project.

"It is wonderful news for all the disabled people who need these facilities. We are so privileged to have the people with the expertise to give my son and others a wonderful experience. I am passionate about Gower and Swansea and about promoting what we have here and I am grateful to everyone from Swansea Council for their support through this process."

The project is partly financed by Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014 -2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, and Welsh Government.

Surfability UK, a Community Interest Company, exists thanks to the support of Children in Need and the Princes Trust Enterprise Programme. They had a recent visit from Paralympian Ellie Simmonds who showed her support for the work that they do transforming young people's lives. They were featured several times on TV, including Children in Need, BBC3 'Amazing Humans' and ITV's 'Coast and Country'


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