Accessible Beaches Project (Gold Coast)

Volunteering Services Australia

Do you believe that our beuatiful beaches should be enjoyed by everyone? Volunteer Gold Coast (part of VSA) have partnered with Surfers Paradise SLSC to allow ALL of the community to have beach access via the roll-out of beach mats and the use of 3x Mobi-Chairs. This project is suitable for Occupational Therapy students enrolled in HTL10595 or as a volunteering opportunity.

Details

Availability: Approved

Time required: 4 hours per week

Duration: 16 weeks

Location:
Gold Coast

Requires face to face contact: No

Overview

Aims

Volunteering Gold Coast (VGC) and the Surfers Paradise branch of Surf Life Saving Queensland (Surfers Paradise SLSC) have both identified a need in the Gold Coast community to develop an initiative which ensures that the Gold Coast’s legendary beaches are accessible for people of all abilities.

This project aims to establish an inclusive and participatory pathway for people living with disabilities to access the mainstream beach area in Surfers Paradise during the summer months. This will be achieved through the utilisation of existing Mobi-Mats and Mobi-Chairs, which are available for use at Surfers Paradise SLSC. Volunteers will support the operationalisation of the initiative, and will be recruited, screened and coordinated by VGC.

Outcomes

Gold Coast beaches will be available for everyone to use not just those that are able to walk on the sand. We expect to roll this project out across all GC beaches in the very near future.

We want to identify and address the environmental barriers which inhibit the full inclusion and participation of all citizens to enjoy the GC beaches, regardless of their abilities or disabilities.

Needs to be addressed

Driving social inclusion and addressing inclusion issues for disadvantaged individuals and seeking to enhance wellbeing and sense of community belonging.

Benefits to students

The art of giving and providing support and assistance to those who are in a vulnerable situation and disadvantaged. To give those in our community a feeling of belonging regardless of their abilities or disabilities.

Requirements

Southern Cross University

The opportunity to present this project to the students and show them via photos and videos the process on the beach. Student should have a positive attitude, wanting to give, team work, working with a group of 8 people, the ability to swim in the ocean, commitment to the project. Physical energy is also required for setting up the equipment first thing in the morning and also for pulling it down at the end of the day.

Partner

Support for students include treating them as staff for VGC and providing insurance for them. We will also train them on the equipment used for the project and the roles and responsibilities associated with the project. Surfers Paradise SLSC will provide breakfast for those working in the morning and lunch for those on the afternoon shift. Free car parking is also given to the volunteers on the day plus a uniform, a cap, sunscreen and water. There will be a team leader on the day that the volunteers will report to.

VGC will process a yellow card application for every volunteer on this project – student will need to provide VGC proof of identity to accompany the application (e.g. drivers licence, medicare card).