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We exist to break down the barriers that prevent people living with disabilities enjoying the great outdoors.
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This dynamic team are 100% committed to creating a countryside for all in the Yorkshire Dales. Their motto: Making the Inaccessible Accessible.  

How You Can Help
  1. Simply book your next holiday with Charitable Travel and tell us you want to support Access the Dales. The charity will then benefit from the free donation you can make as part of the booking process. To read more about how this works, head to our ‘About Us‘ page.
  2. If you want to make a donation to Access the Dales and you are not booking a holiday, click here to visit their website.
  3. Visit https://www.access-the-dales.com to sign up to newsletters, and follow the Access the Dales social media pages and help spread the word.
How You Can Help
  1. Simply book your next holiday with Charitable Travel and tell us you want to support Access the Dales. The charity will then benefit from the free donation you can make as part of the booking process. To read more about how this works, head to our ‘About Us‘ page.
  2. If you want to make a donation to Access the Dales and you are not booking a holiday, click here to visit their website.
  3. Visit https://www.access-the-dales.com to sign up to newsletters, and follow the Access the Dales social media pages and help spread the word.

Access the Dales was created as a blog site in 2011 when our founder Debbie North found that, due to ill health, she was no longer able to walk in the hills of her beloved Yorkshire Dales. She began to write about her wheelchair adventures with her late husband Andy and the obstacles they faced in getting outdoors in a wheelchair. Together they shared a passion for hiking. Now that Debbie was in a wheelchair, they decided that they wanted to create a countryside for all. It is on one of their very first accessible walks to Gordale Scar in the Yorkshire Dales that the pair of them met Jonathan Smith who was just starting up his own business ’Where2Walk‘ – leading guided walks and navigation training in the Dales. The three of them, together with Mist, Jonathan’s collie dog, began creating new and exciting stile free routes in the Yorkshire Dales.

In 2012 Debbie and Andy teamed up with TerrainHopper, a Lincolnshire company who made 4 x 4 all terrain wheelchairs. Now it was possible to reach higher and complete more challenging routes. Debbie was truly back out into the hills.  

The team of three have continued to forge ahead with their project to create a countryside for all and they have stayed true to their passion of making the inaccessible accessible. In 2014 they raised the money to buy an all-terrain wheelchair for the National Trust which is housed up at Malham Tarn for people to use. People with poor or no mobility can now access a stunningly beautiful walk around the tarn with their friends and family. Jonathan, Andy and Debbie have had many adventures together, including the Coast to Coast in 2015.

On June 29th 2021, Andy passed away following a short and cruel battle against cancer. His wish was for Debbie to raise the money to buy an all-terrain wheelchair for children to be able to access the countryside. Over £16k was raised and the first chair was bought – a TerrainHopper Mini. TerrainHopper company have kindly donated a second TerrainHopper.

In July 2021 Debs got a team of people together to gain charity status for Access the Dales. The five trustees all bring a specialist quality to the charity. Amy-Rose Medlock is a deaf musician and specialises in BSL and making the world inclusive for people with hearing impairment. Melanie Cox Globe is a very successful head teacher at a large primary school. She is keen to get children of all abilities outdoors and has introduced Forest School into her school. Jonathan Smith is a Mountain Leader and has a love of the outdoors. Holly Brega is an outdoor videographer and has a very creative flair.  

In April 2022 we launched the charity Access the Dales.

Access the Dales exists to break down the barriers that prevent people living with disabilities enjoying the great outdoors either independently or with their friends and family. We will do this by making all-terrain mobility vehicles available to borrow at outdoor locations in the Yorkshire Dales. We also share information about accommodation, attractions, events, walks, and facilities that cater for people with disabilities.

So far, we have launched 4 wheelchair hubs in the Dales and are supported by TGA Mobility, TerrainHopper, DaVinci Mobility and Paratreker so we have a range of different types of all-terrain wheelchairs to borrow. But we don’t want to stop there. We want to continue to grow and expand our services to include activities for all disabled people, as well as setting up more hubs in the Yorkshire Dales.

This dynamic team are 100% committed to creating a countryside for all in the Yorkshire Dales. Their motto: Making the Inaccessible Accessible.  

Get in touch

Location

Access the Dales, 3 Birkby Cottages, Birkby, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL7 0EG

Charity

Registered charity number 1199934. 

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