THE founder of local charity Beach Wheelchairs has been presented with her Points of Light Award.

Alison Brown, from Tranent, was recently given her award certificate by county MP Martin Whitfield for improving accessibility to beaches for wheelchair users.

The honour was bestowed on Alison by Prime Minister Theresa May before she left office.

Every week day, the Prime Minister recognises an inspirational volunteer by announcing a Points of Light award.

In a personal letter to Alison, Ms May said: “With the Beach Wheelchairs project you are making your local beaches accessible to all, enabling disabled children and adults to enjoy the beautiful Scottish coastline.”

Mr Whitfield was joined at the presentation of Alison’s certificate by local MSP Iain Gray on a visit to the charity’s beach hut at North Berwick Harbour.

On receiving her award, Alison said: “This award is very much a reflection of the masses of hours so many people dedicate in North Berwick and Portobello and our joint project in Seton Sands. I can’t believe how far we’ve come and wonder what the future holds for us!

“I’m delighted that it raises the profile of our charity on a national platform and indeed highlights access issues for people with disabilities.

“Thank you to all volunteers, supporters and customers and here’s to many more years of picnics on the beach and first paddles!”

Mr Whitfield said: “It was a real honour to formally present Alison with her Points of Light Award. Beach Wheelchairs has had a powerful impact over the last few years by facilitating access to the beach for those who could not previously enjoy the experience.

“It’s exactly the kind of volunteer-led initiative that the award was designed to recognise and celebrate.”

Mr Gray congratulated Alison and her team on the award and learnt more about their latest activities.

Mr Gray added: “It’s clear from chatting to Alison and the volunteers that the charity is going from strength to strength, with its new electric chair proving to be particularly popular, and I wish them continued success in the years ahead.”

Beach Wheelchairs was set up in 2015 and provides beach-accessible wheelchairs free of charge to allow people to access and enjoy the coastline.

Unlike standard wheelchairs, the beach version has large rubber wheels that can move easily on the sand.

Alison was the 1,231st winner of the Points of Light Award, developed in partnership with the Points of Light programme in the USA which was initially set up in 1990 under President George HW Bush.