Following on from two successful summer seasons, the St Andrews Beach Wheelchairs team are currently agreeing plans in preparation for this summer’s service based on the West Sands, St Andrews.
This important accessible tourism service has provided numerous hours of pleasure for locals and visitors to the Royal Burgh over the past two years and has firmly established the town as a leading accessible destination in Scotland. Families and groups of friends have had the ability to book the free wheelchair service which enables both young and old to enjoy time on the beach which previously was not possible for them.
Local charitable organisation The Hamish Foundation was responsible for the initial concept of providing this service on St Andrews west sands and undertook a series of fundraising projects to support the purchase of the beach wheelchairs, the welcome centre and the booking mechanisms and marketing of the service. The Foundation was also responsible for the recruitment of volunteers to operate the service which has seen over 230 bookings during 2018 and 2019.
The Hamish Foundation is delighted to announce a collaborative partnership with the St Andrews Environmental Network which will see the local environmental group operate the beach wheelchairs service over the next three years. This will include the operations and marketing of the accessible service to users including bookings management, enquiries and the provision of a welcome service from their cabin located on the west sands.
The Hamish Foundation will continue to fundraise for the beach wheelchairs, accessible projects and other projects for local improvements including the beach viewing gallery, accessible walkway, soft sand walkway and changing places facility at the Bruce Embankment with further initiatives planned over 2020 and 2021.
The foundation has continuously delivered innovative fundraising initiatives to support their St Andrews projects which included the launch of a limited edition Hamish Gin in 2019.
St Andrews Environmental Network is a local charitable community organisation which is aimed at reducing CO2 emissions and cutting household fuel bills in the local area. Projects include Clean & Green, Cosy Kingdom, Community Care for Climate Share, Towards a Plastic Free St Andrews and StAnd ReUse.
Jane Kell (Manager of St Andrews Environmental Network) said: “We are delighted to partner with the Hamish Foundation on this very successful project. Our aim is to protect the environment around St Andrews, but we also feel passionately that everyone should be able to access and enjoy the local area. The provision of Beach Wheelchairs in the town makes our beautiful beach accessible to all.”
Debbie MacCallum (Co-Founder of The Hamish Foundation) said: “As a charitable organisation we are delighted with how successful our Beach Wheelchairs service has been. A key focus has been enabling St Andrews to be a more inclusive place to live, work and visit and the St Andrews Beach Wheelchairs service has been a key pillar in this strategy. On behalf of the Hamish Foundation, we would like to thank the many businesses, organisations and individuals who have supported the project thus far and hope that they will continue to support us. As a charitable fundraising organisation, we must focus our small team’s efforts moving forward on new fundraising plans to support our new St Andrews local improvement projects.
“The St Andrews Environmental Network are an ideal partner for the Hamish Foundation to collaborate with and to continue to deliver this wonderful accessible tourism service. Our objectives as community organisations are very aligned and we are delighted to have entered into this partnership with them”.
Hamish McHamish (1999 – 11 September 2014) was a ginger cat that lived in the University town of St Andrews. He came to national and international fame after the book entitled Hamish McHamish of St Andrews: Cool Cat About Town was published. Hamish was believed to bring luck to your business and the town. If ever there was a queue of traffic it was because Hamish was crossing the road and in 2014 a bronze statue was installed in Church Square to commemorate his life and he presides over the Square with a quietly feline air.
The Hamish Foundation (SCO45383) is a charitable organisation set up in 2014 by three friends and local business owners who are residents of St Andrews and who have a love of the town. They felt that it would be suitable to raise funds in the name of Hamish McHamish - the ginger cat who was well loved by locals and visitors alike – to deliver projects for the good of the town.
St Andrews Environmental Network was originally set up by the Royal Burgh of St Andrews Community Council in 2010 and became a charity in 2014 (SC045253). They deliver a number of environmental projects throughout St Andrews (Cosy Kingdom, Clean & Green, Community Share for Climate Care, Towards a Plastic Free St Andrews StAnd Reuse). They are currently looking to acquire the Local Office in St Mary’s Place to establish an environmental hub in the centre of the town which would allow them to expand their services for the residents of St Andrews.