By Christian Fuller & Leanne Rinne
21 April 2023
A woman in Kent is helping people with disabilities to explore nature through free and accessible guided walks.
After three years of campaigning, Gini Mitchell has managed to make The Warren in Folkestone more accessible after the installation of a new gate.
Ms Mitchell, founder of Wild with Wheels, was herself diagnosed with a rare congenital disorder that affected her muscles.
Since her diagnosis a few years ago, she said she realised her favourite walks were off limits.
“I spent my whole childhood outside. Having that taken away from me, it did bring a highlight to how others have struggled,” she said.
“That was my main drive to help bring these accessible walks out to people because it’s all too easy to give up and feel that nobody is listening.”
She added: “If you can remove those barriers and get through the gates, down the steps and over the stiles, then you can have as much enjoyment in the countryside as a non-disabled person.”
Wild with Wheels offers free and accessible guided walks for people with mobility and mental health issues.
Group member Tony Dimmer said the group has been invaluable since his wife died.
“It gets me out the house, as I live on my own,” he said.
“They’re a nice bunch of people and we get to go to places that we couldn’t ordinarily get to.”
The walks are currently running in Folkestone and Dover, but Ms Mitchell said she is looking to open up more routes across the county this summer.
Online article here.BBC Article
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