Beach Wheelchair supports Nippers this summer

Dec 14, 2020


Rocky Bay has loaned a fully restored Beach Wheelchair to the Scarboro Surf Life Saving Club’s Starfish Nippers program, for use by children living with disability throughout summer.

The Beach Wheelchair, which was fully restored by the Rocky Bay Equipment team, will allow young Nippers to experience the ocean and learn water safety.

As part of the support given to the Club’s Nippers program, Rocky Bay therapists conducted training with volunteers on the use of the Beach Wheelchair, as well as sharing various mobility, communication and sensory preference strategies, at a volunteer training day on Sunday 13 December.

The training, provided by Rocky Bay’s Advanced Clinician Complex Communication, Kayla Douthie, and Advanced Clinician Assistive Technology, Amy Savourey, will allow volunteers to support the various needs of the children taking part in the program.

Starfish Nippers Coordinator, Ali Nielsen, explained why the support provided by Rocky Bay therapists is so important for the Program.

“Our volunteers are provided with vital information which aids in being able to better cater for the individual needs of the beautiful children in this program,” Ms Nielsen said.

“Without this training for volunteers, we would not be able to provide the greatest possible care for the children in the program, and in turn the children wouldn’t be able to get the most out of it.

“The training provides our volunteers with the opportunity to become better equipped with the knowledge they will need to provide the children involved with the greatest possible opportunities, to achieve success and have fun.”

Training on the use of the Beach Wheelchair was also provided to volunteers by Rocky Bay’s therapists, including transferring individuals into and out of the wheelchair safely.

“The Beach Wheelchair will be a massive incentive for the children…to have the opportunity to have access to the beach, and more importantly to become involved in the Starfish Nippers Program,” Ms Nielsen said.

“It will also make a huge difference in providing children with the opportunity to be easily transferred between the different activities which are happening on the beach.”


Rocky Bay’s General Manager Clinical, Michelle Dillon, said the provision of the Beach Wheelchair, and the training to accompany it, is something Rocky Bay was excited to be involved in.

“Starfish Nippers really is a fantastic program for young people, so we were more than happy to get involved to help make it a success for the Club.” Ms Dillon said.

“I’m also very proud of our therapists for volunteering their time to organise training for volunteers, to ensure they are as prepared as they can be, and are armed with important knowledge to support the young people involved in the program.”

Ms Nielsen repeated Ms Dillon’s sentiments on the collaboration.

“The sponsorship provided by Rocky Bay for the Starfish Nippers Program is a fantastic collaboration, one which will ensure the success of the running of the Program at the Scarboro Surf Life Saving Club.”

The Beach Wheelchair will be on loan to the Scarboro Surf Life Saving Club until March 2021.

The Starfish Nippers Program is still on the lookout for volunteers. To express your interest in becoming a Nippers volunteer, please contact Ali Nielsen at [email protected].

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