From left to right: Alistair Burt MP, Ian Coster and Jane Coster
From left to right: Alistair Burt MP, Ian Coster and Jane Coster

Just when the Coster family from Cotton End, Bedford were beginning to give up hope of qualifying for a disabled facilities grant to fund a stairlift for their home; someone from their local church suggested they contact Hertfordshire based company EMS and apply for one completely free of charge as part of the STAIRLIFT ANGELS INITIATIVE.

58 year old Jane Coster who has a progressive condition which severely restricts her mobility and husband Ian had been told they were not eligible for a stairlift from the local authority and that instead they should seek a grant to build a downstairs bedroom and bathroom.

Understandably Jane, Ian and their three grown up daughters Becky, Rachel and Jen were very upset by this news, as Ian comments: “The prospect of having to wait several months for funding approval and planning permission then longer still to actually build an extension was devastating. Not least as largely dependent on myself, our daughters and the daily carers to get her up and downstairs my wife would have been left to struggle on in unnecessary discomfort for a long while to come. So imagine our relief when we discovered the STAIRLIFT ANGELS INITIATIVE; it seemed to us that our prayers had quite literally been answered.”

Once the Coster’s application had been accepted, the whole process to order, manufacture and install their ThyssenKrupp Access stairlift took less than five weeks. EMS Stairlifts Director, Mick Armstrong remarks: “It’s for exactly families like the Costers that the STAIRLIFT ANGELS INITIATIVE was intended. Jane has been a dedicated member of Cotton End Baptist Church for many years. She worked tirelessly on behalf of the children and young people in the area, running youth clubs, holiday camps, Sunday schools and many more activities besides. Having put so much into her local community it seems only right to give something back in her own particular time of need.”

Joining Mick Armstrong and fellow company director Thomas Sergeant at the Coster’s home last Friday to formally present Jane with her stairlift was her MP, Alistair Burt. Mr Burt who knew of the family through their involvement with a local charity, wholeheartedly endorsed this philanthropic gesture by EMS saying: “I am delighted to know there are companies who, despite the pressures of the current financial climate, are prepared to go out of their way and make a generous award like this to such a well deserving family.”