Tue 11 Sep 18
The team from Tourism St Andrews’ efforts in further developing the local tourism offering have enjoyed yet another successful summer season following on from their work in bringing the highly popular Kelpie Maquettes to the town during the 2017 season.
Earlier this year, the Local Tourism Association team launched an ambitious initiative focused on securing a number of Beach Wheelchairs for use by both locals and visitors to assist less mobile individuals to enjoy the wonderful beaches that St Andrews has to offer. The St Andrews Beach Wheelchairs project has spearheaded fund raising and sponsorship and has, over the last two weeks, taken delivery of an additional two chairs bringing the total to six Beach Wheelchairs which adults and children can book to use free of charge and therefore enjoy days out on the sands which otherwise would not have been possible.
The success of the project has helped make a more accessible St Andrews and enable families to enjoy the delights of the beach and the variety of things to do and see in the town over a busy 2018 summer season. The Beach Wheelchairs service has been fully operationalised with both an online and telephone booking system implemented and a support team to welcome users of the chairs. A portakabin has also been purchased for storage use and to act as a central point of co-ordination.
Tourism St Andrews has also been instrumental in organising the Ask Andrew ambassadorship programme for a second year running which provides a welcome and advice service in the town centre to tourists and visiting coach and cruise ship passengers. The service includes not only the organisation of volunteer “meet and greet” ambassadors but the publishing of a guide and special offers from local businesses and organisations for visitors to enjoy.
The tourism team were delighted at the end of last week to see that local resident and business woman Debbie MacCallum – who has been a driving force behind these initiatives – being awarded the KingdomFM Local Heroes Provost’s Award for her excellent work. Debbie is the Chair of Tourism St Andrews and also a founder of the local Hamish Foundation charity which organised the fundraising elements of the Beach Wheelchairs project.
Commenting on her award win, Debbie said: “Thank you to Kingdom FM, Fife Council and the Provost for supporting this project. We would not have achieved our aim to make the West Sands accessible without the support of numerous volunteers and supporters. This is just the beginning of a journey to make St Andrews more accessible and welcoming to all.”
Her nomination for the prestigious KingdomFM Award was made by Charmaine Duthie of the famous Jannettas Gelateria. Charmaine described Debbie to the award panel:
“Debbie is selfless. She works tirelessly to help both her local community and causes dear to her. I have only known Debbie for 3 years but in that time she has become a friend and someone I admire greatly for all the time and effort she puts in within her local community in order to help others and ensure the local community and those within, thrive. Debbie is a wife and Mum to three children, two at University and one still at high school and is constantly juggling her life between her children, her work and the causes she is passionate about”.