Welcome to Access the Dales

Today is a very significant day for me.

Today is the first day of my new life.

Yesterday I was a headteacher of a large primary school.

Today I am …what am I?

Retired? Not yet.

Unemployed? No – as I am  unable unable to work due to ‘ill health’

Housewife? The mobility issue causes a few problems. I’m up for a bit of light dusting!

Pioneer? I like the sound of that.

Yes. I am a pioneer!

Due to a spinal injury I have very poor mobility, and spend quite a lot of time in the wheelchair. I was able to continue as head teacher, but returned to work in a motorised wheelchair. Unfortunately after two years of whizzing around, the pain and the tiredness started to take its toll and after serious talks with family and medical professionals I resigned from my post on grounds of ill health.

Before my illness I was a very keen hill walker, and spent most weekends and holidays out on the hills and peaks of the Yorkshire Dales. My dad always said that I should have been born in a field, as I love the outdoor life.

My husband and I have walked the coast -to- coast twice (the first time I forgot to take the camera) and have completed several  long distance walks. We have also completed the three peaks challenge. In fact we got married in our walking boots.

Now I have to sit at the bottom of the peaks. It saddens me to see other walkers putting on their boots and togther with rucksack, map and compass they head for the hills.

Today is the first day of my new life. And I am going to take charge.

I’m sure I’m not the only person to find themselves in my situation. I hope through this site, and through twitter, I will make contact with other people in a similar position.

I want to be able to find new walks across the dales that I can do in my motorised chair.

I want to find every hotel, pub and guest house who can accommodate me and cater for my  needs.

I want to find ways of getting to the tops of peaks.

My biggest challenge is to be able to complete the Coast To Coast in my wheel chair.

If you are able to contribute in anyway to the development of this site, it would be a pleasure to hear from you.



7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Liz on March 2, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Debs, you are an inspriation, always have been, always will be, x


  2. Posted by Maureen on March 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    What an inspirational lady……go girl, you will succeed!!x


  3. Posted by sammi medlock on March 2, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    this is very nice and touching , and the best thing ive heard on and it should help so much of diffrent people and your amazing actually amazing isnt strong enough word for this and you and for your caring ness to everyone and yourself ….. , i really hope this works out because you desver the best in everythink , and go go go go for it . X x


  4. Posted by Mags on March 7, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    A FANTASTIC way of looking at life, full of positive thinking.
    You are an insperation x x x


  5. Posted by Kathryn on March 8, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Always did love a trailblazer! What a fabulous idea – I love the site!
    Go Debs! xx


  6. Debs,

    I know you only through twitter (the happiness bunch) and now this site .. which I first knew about yesterday. I’ve kept thinking of your inspiring example throughout the weekend. I too love the Dales we have very fond memories of (the aptly named!) Hope Valley, walking there when our children were young.

    So – thank you for your example of great courage and for reminding us of what has real value in life!!

    Wishing you all you hope for in this project

    Phil Reed


  7. Hi Deb, sadly can’t provide wheelchair friendly accommodation, however I wanted to let you know about a festival happening in Ingleton over the May Bank Holiday weekend.

    The festival Overground Underground http://www.ogug.co.uk is about caving, climbing and walking accessing the landscape in a variety of ways whether that be physically on foot or through illustrated talks, film and exhibitions. Would love some input from you about what we’re putting on.



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