Sarah Caddick, Felixstowe

Before I bought my beach hut, I could only stay out at the beach for a short while. I have ME, use a wheelchair and scooter, and have to rest lying down every couple of hours throughout the day. If I went to the beach independently on my scooter I had nowhere to rest. If I went with a friend in their car, they could take a sun lounger for me, but with no shelter it was often too windy to rest properly. During the past few years, since I’ve had my beach hut, my quality of life and independence has improved beyond measure. On good days I can go, independently, to the beach hut on my scooter and stay all day, resting inside on the lounger when I need to. On not such good days I can get Facts community transport to take me to my hut, where I can stay out longer that I would otherwise be able to, as I can rest on the lounger. Friends and family join me at my hut, and I rest while they go for a walk. I can join in with ‘the whole day out’, rather than only seeing them for an hour and having to be taken home to rest.

I am a medically retired teacher, and my pension and benefits won’t cover the proposed new license fee. For me my beach hut isn’t an extravagance – it’s essential to give me the independence and freedom to be able to stay out longer than an hour or so. If I have to give up my hut then the quality of my life, which is already restricted, will be severely affected. There would certainly be no more days out at the beach!

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