A MUM has said it is a weight off her shoulders now she can take her disabled daughter to the sea after BCP Council installed a wheelchair-accessible path on the beach in Boscombe.

Georgia Phillpot, 12, has Downs Syndrome, scoliosis, learning difficulties and is ten years in remission from cancer.

Her mum, Jo, said she loves to be in the sea but it has always been a struggle to get her to the water because her wheelchair would not go on the sand.

However, after lobbying with BCP Council, a path has been installed in Boscombe, meaning Georgia can get to the sea and swim.

Jo said: “She has had all these setbacks at the start of her life. The problems I have, although people say the beaches are fully accessible, they are not if you cannot get to the water’s edge.

“I have been having to park her wheelchair on the promenade and carry her to the sea, she is 35kg and pulling my hair, it is not a pleasant experience but it is worth it because she loves being in the sea.

“There are so many benefits to her being in the sea, feeling weightless and being able to swim with able-bodied children.

“To be able to swim with able-bodied children and enjoy herself like they do is of utmost importance to her and to me

“It would be nice if every beach had that accessibility, if it works in Boscombe why not everywhere? I shouldn’t have to fight for accessibility.”

Family friend, Tina Cresswell, approached the council to discuss installing water access.

Tina spoke to then council leader Vikki Slade, who said she would work towards providing more facilities.

And Jo said Georgia was “so excited” when she saw the pathway had been installed.

“We wheeled her down the ramp, it is very easy, it means I am not leaving the wheelchair worth £4,000 on the promenade,” Jo continued.

“She wanted to get out and explore, when we pushed her back we asked if it got the thumbs up and she put both thumbs up.

“We face challenges on a daily basis, on an hourly basis, that was another challenge that was soon going to be impossible.

“This has been a huge relief, in the summer we can access the water, it is not a struggle, it is a weight off my shoulders.

“I am hoping there will be more to follow, it is not nice being restricted to certain beaches.

“It is a huge relief, it will make the whole experience so much better.”

Councillor Mohan Iyengar, portfolio holder for tourism, leisure and culture said: “We’ve had Mobi-Mats for a number for years now to help wheelchair users move from the promenade to the sand and closer to the sea.

“They’re in place from May to September and we have them at Boscombe and Sandbanks where it helps that the car parks are close and the walk-way is flatter. As such the mats are well used.

“We’re always looking at other venues and other ways to improve accessibility to the seafront, but in the meantime it’s great to hear the mats are welcomed.”