#3/8 Access the Dales with Debbie North

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Published Aug 5, 2022, 12:47 AM

This episode features Debbie North, founder of Access the Dales, who, since becoming a wheelchair user, has campaigned tirelessly to break down barriers in all aspects of promoting accessibility for all.

After discovering in 2008 that she needed spinal surgery and fearing that she would never be able to walk on the fells again Debbie initially became despondent. Coping with such a changed life now confined to her wheelchair she began writing a blog about the challenges she was facing and called it Access the Dales. This prompted an offer from a friend to get her up to Goredale Scar in her wheelchair and that then inspired Debbie and her husband Andy to begin more challenges and start, as they called it, "making the inaccessible accessible".

A coast to coast walk, St Bees to Robin Hoods Bay in 2015 was a huge achievement with Debbie in an All Terrain Hopper and resulted in a book about their journey-  In the spirit of Wainwright. They had walked the coast to coast path twice before Debbies surgery and each time in passing noticed a lovely house near Nateby. They were thrilled to hear that it was up for rent and it then became their new home in 2017.

Andy's untimely death in June 2021 hasnt stopped Debbie from forging forward with the plans that they had made together, setting up a charity in Andy's memory and calling it after her blog - Access the Dales.

It has just been announced that she has been made a Cabinet Office Disability and Access Ambassador for the countryside. 

Ambassadors use their influential status as business leaders, to drive improvements to the accessability and quality of services and facilities in their sector for disabled people, as consumers and employees. They also work together as a group to galvanise and encourage accessability generally across the private sector, and work on projects of joint benefit.

Valuable Resources:

Website: https://access-the-dales.com

Email: accessthedales@gmail.com

Telephone: 07715964621

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/accessthedales

Instagram: @accessthedales

Twitter: @debbienorth29 and @accessthedales

About the Host:

Susan is actively involved in promoting Yorkshire businesses with audio production and  on social media, as well as sharing her love of the area where she lives. She moved to the dales over 30 years ago and is passionate about the county she has adopted as her home. Never ceasing to be amazed at the wealth of talent ‘Inside Yorkshire’ Susan shares news and views, interviewing some of the inspirational people who reside there.

Contact Method for Inside Yorkshire 

Susan Baty-Symes

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