Wheelchair-bound visitors to the Marie Curie Hospice for the West Midlands now have easy access to the facility and its services thanks to the generosity of a Yorkshire stairlift manufacturer.
Staff at the Birmingham-based Marie Curie Hospice have unanimously thanked Acorn Stairlifts for its free loan of a ‘WAV’ – a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle – to help transport patients to and from the centre.
The £10,000 specially adapted vehicle is being loaned free of charge to the hospice, initially for two years, with its insurance, road tax and servicing costs all paid for by Acorn Stairlifts. Delivered this week, it will help combat social isolation for wheelchair users who have difficulty getting to the hospice, but would benefit from its day services including symptom control and psychological support.
Suzanne McArthur, Community Palliative Care Lead at the hospice, said: “The generosity of Acorn Stairlifts in donating a wheelchair accessible car will enable more patients in the community to attend day services at the hospice, with our volunteer drivers now being able to collect them from their homes.
“Up until this point we have found that many of our wheelchair bound service users have found it difficult to regularly access the day hospice services, here at the Marie Curie Hospice in the West Midlands, where they benefit from services including psychological support and symptom control.
“The car is going to be a lifeline for these people, enabling them to get into the hospice to receive this specialist care and support, have social interaction and develop friendships.”
The WAV initiative is part of a national partnership between Marie Curie and Acorn Stairlifts, which has pledged to donate and install up to five stairlifts per month for Marie Curie patients across the UK, free of charge. As well as enabling those patients to stay in their own homes for longer, the initiative will ease pressure on Marie Curie’s in-hospice beds.
Dave Belmont, Acorn Stairlifts Company Secretary, said: “We’re delighted to be helping people in our communities across the UK. Our free stairlift donation initiative has already helped people in Yorkshire, Hampstead and Scotland.
“To now be able to provide the West Midlands Marie Curie Hospice with a vehicle which will allow them to take patients to and from the facility is another step in our programme of community support. The entire Acorn Stairlifts team is delighted to be able to make a real difference to people’s lives.”
Liz Cottier, Hospice Manager at the Marie Curie Hospice, West Midlands, added: “We have been struggling recently to ensure we can offer our care to patients with reduced mobility due to the lack of suitable transport for wheelchairs. This new vehicle will make such a difference to the support we can offer within our community and I would like to extend our heartfelt thanks for Acorn Stairlifts’ continued support.”
Acorn Stairlifts has been manufacturing and installing stairlifts for more than 20 years and employs over 800 people in the UK. It was recently named a British manufacturing champion after its innovative and easy-to-use stairlifts received national industry recognition and its customer care achieved Trustmark accreditation.