A CARE home has purchased a pair of specialised wheelchairs meaning residents can now enjoy time on the nearby beaches.

Edensor Care Centre, in Orwell Road, Clacton, recently launched a campaign with the hope of acquiring two beach wheelchairs.

Staff at the facility, which provides residential, nursing and respite care, decided to start up the initiative following the death of Simon Keyes, aged 34.

During his final days Mr Keyes, who was being given end-of-life care at the centre, had wanted to go onto the beach but his wheelchair was not adapted for the sand.

As a result, the home’s dedicated but, at this point, heartbroken team were unable to grant his final wish, so vowed to ensure it never happened again.

Lindsey Milliken, deputy manager at Edensor Care Centre, said: “Edensor is very close to the beach, so it's an ideal place for those who love the seaside to visit.

“However many of our residents are unable to wholly enjoy their surroundings as some are permanent wheelchair users.

“This makes it impossible for them to go on the sand and down to the water’s edge without specially adapted chairs.

“I was with Simon on his last visit outside the home and not being able to take him on the sand was a feeling I never wanted to experience again.”

Following a successful fundraiser, and generous support from Colchester Catalyst and Pickering Electronics LTD, the centre has purchased two beach-friendly chairs.

The first resident to use one of the new beach wheelchairs was Mary Wood, who was taken to enjoy the sand and sea this week.

Speaking about the experience she said: “I have had the most amazing time and it brought back such happy childhood memories of visits to the beach.”

A spokesman for Colchester Catalyst, a charity which gives out grants to good causes, said the organisation was more than happy to help.

They said: "We were delighted to be able to contribute to this wonderful idea, so that everybody can now be included in the beach visits.”

The care centre also hopes to soon be able to hire out one of the wheelchairs to residents who are not cared for at the home but struggle to access the beach.

A spokesman for Pickering Electronics Limited, added: “Supporting local causes is an important part of Pickering’s values.

“So when an employee brought the Edensor Care Centre’s fundraising campaign to our attention we were delighted to help.

“We hope the residents enjoy getting down to the beach.”