12:34PM, Thursday 04 October 2012
A paracanoeing world champion has opened a new pontoon bridge which will improve access for the disabled at the Longridge Activity Centre in Bisham.
Jeanette Chippington, who trains at Longridge, opened the bridge to the 'Isle of Wonder' on Wednesday last week.
It is hoped the bridge will improve access to all activities around the site.
Jeanette won three gold medals at this year's world championships in Poland.
The improvements comprise of flat floating pontoons which people will be able to walk over to the Taylor Island and will be of particular use to people in wheelchairs.
Chief executive of Longridge, Amanda Foister, said: "It is vital that all areas of Longridge's operation are fully accessible and this clever use of pontoons will ensure that not only is our island accessible to those in wheelchairs, but will also improve disabled users' ability to access the waterfront and get into boats."
Funding for the bridge came from private donors Michael and Penny Taylor, who have supported Longridge since it was established 50 years ago, and The Veolia Environmental Trust, which awarded the centre a grant of £50,000 through its Landfill Communities Fund.
Thames Water also paid £10,000 towards the bridge and a volunteer-led programme of nature-themed activities will be established.
The activity centre in Quarry Wood Road has also reached the final of the National Lottery Awards 2012 and could win a cash prize to support their long-term plans and appear at a star-studded BBC One event.
Visit www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards or call 08448 369724 to vote before October 28.
Watch the video below of Longridge Activity Centre which will be shown on the National Lottery Awards Show on BBC1 on 8th December.