"Thank you so much for the wheelchairs - Brilliant afternoon...most amazing money-can't-buy experience"

About us

BEACH ACCESS NORTH EAST registered as a charity in April 2017.

BANE is a user led group, promoting social inclusion, independence and choice across the North of England.

Our three founder members started the charity after learning about Beach Wheelchairs North Berwick Opens in a new window and thinking how beneficial it would be to have something similar to enable more people to enjoy the beautiful North East beaches.

Our mission

BANE is a small charity on a BIG mission!

  • A mission to create and sustain a service which will be used by more and more people in the future on the spectacular North East coast.
  • A mission to bring together people from all walks of life and all abilities, in a truly spectacular location.
  • A mission to support those in need, enhance lives, encourage exploration of the extraordinary and celebrate some of life’s greatest natural treasures: our beaches, the pull of the sea, nature and above all else - people!
a man in a wheelchair with his wife and young son all playing in the sea on a bright sunny day
a man pushing his young daughter along the promenade she has a wonderful toothless grin

Why we do what we do

Research suggests that the beach can provide a wonderful escape from reality. Being by the sea can take you mind off troubles and help you disconnect from the stresses and strains of everyday life. An opportunity to focus on nothing but having a wonderful time with the people around you.

We want as many people as possible to be able to benefit from visiting the beach. To enable that we try to provide equipment to make a visit to the beach an option for people who might otherwise find it inaccessible.

What do we do?

We provide the free loan of beach wheelchairs and other equipment for anyone who needs assistance to access the beach. Whether it's for a few minutes to eat an ice cream on the sand, or a full day playing with friends and family, we want people to enjoy themselves.

We have many different types of wheelchair, some of which are even suitable for paddling in the sea.

Who is our service for?

Anyone who needs a wheelchair to access the beach, from toddlers to 90-year-olds.

We also organise events which not only raise funds but which create inclusive and accessible social activities open to all, able bodied and wheelchair users alike.

Our Committee

Caroline Corfield - Chair & Founder member
Sue Rowley - Treasurer & Founder member
Andy Divers - Trustee
Nicola Crawshaw - Trustee
Helen Wood - Trustee
Alistair McDonald - Trustee
Steve Turnbull - Trustee
Stephen Miller MBE - Honorary President

White woman with shoulder length brown hair, wearing silver hoop earrings & a sliver necklace. She is smiling. She is wearing a navy blouse & has sunglasses on top of her head.
Sue Rowley Founder & Treasurer
Andy Divers Trustee - White man with short grey hair. He is wearing a long sleeved grey t-shirt and has a big smile.
Andy Divers Trustee
White man with grey hair tied back. Wearing a dark coat and smiling.
Steve Turnbull Trustee
Stephen Miller MBE Honorary President. Red haired man wearing a Great Britain olympic jacket. He is sitting in a powered wheelchair & showing his paralympic medal
Stephen Miller MBE Honorary President
Helen Wood Trustee - White woman with cropped white hair who is smiling. She is wearing a black workout vest
Helen Wood Chair
White man with short grey hair wearing dark sunglasses. He is smiling and there is a harbour in the background.
Alistair McDonald - Vice Chair
Nicola Crawshaw Trustee. White woman with shoulder length brown hair and a big smile.
Nicola Crawshaw Trustee
Caroline Corfield Founder & Chair
Caroline Corfield Founder & Trustee

Upcoming events

Wheelchair line up 2022

After the success of our first event in 2019, we are thrilled to say we will be holding our second North East Wheelchair Line up…

Wheelchair line up 2022

Coming soon on August 29th (Bank Holiday Monday). Further details coming soon!

Latest news

Exciting news from South Shields Surf School

We consider ourselves lucky to work alongside the surf school who have always supported us. Last year our chairs were used to get people to…

Thank you to the Coastal Custodian Community

We were absolutely thrilled to receive a donation of £2000 raised by the Coastal Custodian Community. This money was raised specifically to be used towards…

BANE awarded North East Small Charity of the Year

For the last 6 years the North East Charity Awards have been celebrating and recognising the work of our North East charities and social enterprises,…

Whitley Bay Town Cup 2019

THE WHITLEY BAY TOWN CUP is awarded annually to any organisation that has taken part in or brought about an outstanding event in the town.…


Could you be a volunteer?

Everything that happens here at BANE happens because of a volunteer. We are currently looking for additional volunteers for Whitley Bay and a pool of…

Can I get a new location added?

We are often asked if we can set up at a new beach. There are lots of factors to take into account when we look…

Who can use one of the Beach Wheelchairs?

Anyone who, for whatever reason, has difficulty walking on the beach. This could be a permanent or temporary disability. The beach wheelchairs need someone to…