VOLUNTEERS are needed this Friday to make a beach wheelchair friendly.

Beach Pathway Community Team will join the Tram Stop Shelter "Caring on Sea" team to help level the beach to make way for a wheelchair pathway so disabled people can get on the beach with their family and friends.

The path will be created outside the Tram Stop Shelter, Thorpe Esplanade, Thorpe Bay, and anyone who can help is asked to bring a picnic, spades, rakes and meet at 11am on Friday, April 1.

The Echo's parent company Gannett donated £9,400 to the Tram Stop Shelter to pay for better disabled facilities.

It included new beach matting to help wheelchairs get down a ramp to the beach and an all-terrain wheelchair.

The Hippocamp wheelchair was trialled during special equipment days at the shelter during the summer, when it proved to be adaptable and safe for children aged between five and 14.

The shelter is being redeveloped to provide public facilities including toilets and changing rooms for disabled people and the shelter has been demolished to enable the work to take place.

The Echo’s owner Gannett handed out a total of £250,000 to good causes around the country last Christmas.

The Tram Stop charity, which was set up to bring the dilapidated old building in Eastern Esplanade back to use, applied to the foundation for a grant and was chosen from the entries.

The shelter was built along the former tram system which ran from Southend to Thorpe Bay