Access the Dales
2049. Debbie North
Debbie North, from Northallerton, founded ‘Access the Dales’ to help disabled people access the Yorkshire Dales through use of all-terrain wheelchairs.
Debbie, who has used a wheelchair since 2008 due to a degenerative spine condition, had blogged with her husband Andy about their accessible adventures in the National Park until he passed away from cancer in June 2021. His wish was for Debbie to continue promoting accessibility in the countryside, encouraging her to launch her own charity. Supported by Amanda Owen, TV’s “Yorkshire Shepherdess”, who made her home in Swaledale the site of the first ‘Access the Dales’ hub, the charity now has five sites across the National Park. ‘Access the Dales’ have also been able to purchase their first all-terrain wheelchair for children to be able to access the countryside, and in 2022, launched their first accessible Yorkshire Dales festival.
“I am delighted to be given this award. The charity Access the Dales lives in my heart. I passionately believe in a countryside for all and I will continue to strive to make my beloved Yorkshire Dales accessible to more people living with disabilities and long term illness. I believe in our motto – Making the inaccessible accessible.”
See more about ‘Access the Dales’