Ed Atkinson and his brother, Jeremy enjoy a trip to the beach
Ed Atkinson and his brother, Jeremy enjoy a trip to the beach

Sylvia makes a difference

Thanks to the generous donation of a new beach wheelchair by World War II veteran Sylvia Taylor, Ed Atkinson and his brother, Jeremy, will be able to enjoy a trip to the beach anytime. Photo: TREVOR VEALE 06042203A Sylvia makes a difference By MEL MARTIN

FOR Ed Atkinson, going to the beach is normally such an ordeal it rarely happens, but now he'll be able to en- joy the surf anytime. Thanks to World War II veteran Syl- via Taylor, Ed and his family will be able to borrow a specially-designed wheelchair that can take him to the beach and into the surf. "It's not such a large amount of money and I thought the possibilities are endless for children, older people, and people with a disability," Mrs Tay- lor said. "It's nice to bring happiness to others, and it's nice to see Ed enjoying himself in the surf." Mrs Taylor, who served during World War II with the Australian Women's Army Service, was moved to make the donation in the name of her husband, Tony Taylor, a former RAAF veteran, after seeing a television pro- gram on the Disabled Surfers Associa- tion of Australia. And she wants others to do the same. "I would like to issue a challenge to clubs and organisations to donate a beach wheelchair to other beaches along the coast so that everybody gets a chance to enjoy them," Mrs Taylor said. Coffs Harbour City Council senior lifeguard, Greg Hackfath, said the chair would be available free for use on any beach within the Coffs Harbour shire. "It can fit in just about any car, but if people can't get it to the beach they

want themselves, we'll transport it for them," Mr Hackfath said. "I can't thank Sylvia enough for what she's done." Mr Hackfath had his own challenge to issue. "We need a Coffs Harbour branch of

the Disabled Surfers Association of Australia," he said. "If we had someone willing to co-or- dinate the volunteers, I'm sure there would be plenty of willing volunteers out there." The beach wheelchair will be kept at

Park Beach. Arrangements to use the wheelchair can be made by calling the lifeguards at the council on 6648 4000. For more information about the Dis- abled Surfers Association of Australia visit www.disabledsurfers.org or call (02) 9759 0997.



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