Debbie North - Wheelchair user, “Making the inaccessible accessible”


Renata Chlumska  - Adventure athlete who became the first Swedish and Czech woman to climb Mount Everest and in 2005 did a circumnavigate of the lower 48 States of the United States by her own power.

Since becoming a wheelchair user Debbie has campaigned tirelessly to break down barriers in all aspects of promoting accessibility for all.

Debbie lives on a sheep farm in Cumbria, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. She is a member of the Local Access Forum for the YDNP and chair of the Access For All group. She is a volunteer for the National Park with the responsibility of auditing the ‘Miles Without Stile’ routes.

For the past 6 years Debbie has been the expert in inclusion and diversity for The Outdoor Guide, a free online resource dedicated to enjoying the outdoors. Co-founded and fronted by television personality Julia Bradbury.

Debbie is a Get Outside Champion with Ordnance Survey. In 2020 she was nominated for 'Outdoor Personality of the Year' by TGO magazine readers.

Debbie is a presenter, motivational speaker, writer and consultant and is able to deliver tailor made training and presentations. She is a regular contributor for the BBC Countryfile Magazine

Although Debbie specialises in walks for wheelchair users, she is able to create multi- sensory walks for people with visual and hearing impairment.

Her motto is “Making the inaccessible accessible”

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Show notes

  • Living on a sheep farm in Cumbria

  • Being a wheelchair user since 2011

  • De-stressing from school life

  • Spending time in the hills

  • Starting to look at ways she could get back outside

  • Struggling to access the countryside

  • Working with Terrain Hopper

  • Losing her husband Andy to cancer

  • Setting up the charity “Access the Dales”

  • The Outdoor Guide

  • Spending time in the open and growing up in Sheffield

  • Meeting Andy while teaching at the same school

  • Doing the coast to coast walk not really knowing each other…

  • Deciding to make some changes

  • Putting pen to paper

  • Getting back outside again and going on her first walk in a wheelchair

  • Facing challenges out in nature

  • Why accessibility should be the starting point of any new project

  • Magical moments of spending time in the outdoors

  • Getting a new dog

  • Having her first Scottish solo holiday

  • Batteries on wheelchairs

  • Going downhill

  • New books

  • Launching the charity and the book in April 2022

  • Final words of advice

  • Why we all have our own Everest

 

Social Media

Website: www.debbienorth.org

Instagram: @debbienorth29n

Facebook: @debbieNorth

Twitter: @debbienorth29

 

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