Hands up to support Larne charity in bid for better beach access

Larne-based charity the Mae Murray Foundation is urging people to support its 'Hands Up for the Beach' campaign, which aims to improve access at beaches across Northern Ireland. The organisation has launched a new survey to gauge public opinion on the issue.  INLT 22-670-CON
Larne-based charity the Mae Murray Foundation is urging people to support its 'Hands Up for the Beach' campaign, which aims to improve access at beaches across Northern Ireland. The organisation has launched a new survey to gauge public opinion on the issue. INLT 22-670-CON

A Larne-based charity is calling on people to support its campaign for improved access at beaches across Northern Ireland.

The Mae Murray Foundation has set out to improve the quality of life for anyone who feels socially excluded, and aims to create inclusive environments so everyone can participate together – regardless of age or ability.

Established by Larne woman Alix Crawford, the Foundation is named in memory of her late mother, Mae Murray.

Alix said beach access is an important issue for many people, her own family included.

The organisation’s latest initiative, dubbed ‘Hands Up for the Beach’, aims to gather a range of opinions from across the province as a jumping-off point.

Alix added:“This is not just an issue of physically getting onto a beach - it’s about what is needed to enable participation once there and ensure that personal dignity and safety are prioritised.

“We must ask the public to tell us about their individual need and preferences, gather the data for each council region and then work together to implement and achieve mutual goals which will benefit both our local communities and tourism.

“I would appeal to families and individuals, who need access or support, to please try to find the time to complete this short document. We are committed to making your voice heard but we need your assistance to do so.”

In a bid to raise awareness of the issue, the Foundation is appealing for members of the public to share its promotional video on social media.

People can also show their support by taking a ‘hands up’ picture of themselves, ‘tagging’ the Foundation and posting it online.

Alix added: “Even if you don’t personally know someone who needs beach access right now, please try to make time to demonstrate empathy.”

To take part in the survey, go to www.maemurrayfoundation.org or visit the group’s Facebook page.