The WOW, the largest observation wheel on the south coast, welcomed Worthing’s unsung heroes and community champions for free rides as it officially opened earlier this month.
Local heroes and charity representatives enjoyed free rides
Representatives from charities large and small were nominated to attend the launch event at the eye-catching attraction, called the Worthing Observation Wheel, on the promenade.
They were welcomed by dignitaries before taking a ride in one of the WOW’s 36 pods, which reach heights of 46-metres offering unparalleled views of the South Downs, town and beyond. The heroes were then treated to an afternoon tea in the Pavilion Cafe on Worthing Pier.
Among those charity service users, carers, volunteers or extra special staff members who go above and beyond was Ann Solcombe, who’s been a listening volunteer at Worthing Samaritans for seven and a half years.
She said: “We found it a great privilege to be here. We’ve been in Worthing for 50 years and to be part of Worthing’s heritage and a new beginning for the wheel. It’s exciting, we love being one of the local heroes chosen.”
Another to attend was Luci Oxenbridge, Assistant Division Commissioner at Girlguiding Highdown Division in Worthing, which looks after 450 young members.
Just before she took a ride on the WOW, she said, “I feel really honoured. I’m overwhelmed with what we’ve got here today. I’m really looking forward to going on the wheel in a moment! I love having my feet off the ground, I love things like roller coasters so this should be really great!”
The invites to the unsung heroes was sent out by Worthing Borough Council which has supported the venture, providing the land and working on joint promotions via its tourism arm Discover Worthing.
Cllr Dan Humphries, leader of Worthing Borough Council, said “These people deserve to be celebrated. We’ve had a fantastic time welcoming over a hundred local heroes, people who’ve done brilliant voluntary work and organising work in the local community to the launch of the WOW. This seemed like the perfect time, when we’ve got this large, standout feature that the town’s talking about, to say thank you to those people, and invite them to be some of the first to have a go on the Worthing Observation Wheel.”
“The wheel looks great, people are talking about it, this is going to be one of a number of things we’re doing to bring people into the town centre in Worthing, give them a reason to come here, spend a bit of time here, spend a bit of money here, do a bit of socialising, support some local businesses, and keep the town centre really thriving.”
If you havent yet been down to the WOW, it will be standing proudly on Worthing seafront until 1st October. Rides cost £7 Adults and £5 Children (or those under 1.2m). A family of four ticket is great value at £20. Booking is not necessary, just turn up on the day and enjoy!