Back from to left to right: daughter, Shannon Dean, Julie Dean and Rt Hon John Bercow MP. Front: husband, David Dean

Christmas is a special time for many of us but for Julie Dean and family from Longwick this year’s will be a particularly happy and memorable one. Having been refused funding from their local council and giving up all hope of ever affording a much needed stairlift, Hertfordshire based company EMS Stairlifts came to their aid providing one completely free of charge as part of their STAIRLIFT ANGELS INITIATIVE.

45 year old Julie Dean, who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a progressive disease affecting the central nervous system, thirteen years ago, and husband David were told they did not qualify for a Disabled Funding Grant. As a consequence, up until now Julie has been restricted to the downstairs of their home, sleeping in the living room and unable to use their purpose-built wet room upstairs.

However all that was to change following a chance encounter with EMS Stairlift salesman Phil Charnock at the Mobility Roadshow in Peterborough during the summer. On hearing about their situation Phil encouraged them to apply to the STAIRLIFT ANGELS INITIATIVE and just a few months later their nomination was accepted with a state-of-the-art Otolift TWO stairlift installed soon after.

Despite her condition Julie leads a very busy life within her local community, as well as listening to young people read at the local primary school and scouting, she has been particularly involved with the Chilterns MS Therapy Centre in Halton. Julie who has been a member of the Centre since 1999 and a trustee since June 2011 providing help with important fundraising activities cannot speak highly enough of the support it provides to fellow MS sufferers and their families. Julie commented: “The Chilterns MS Centre is an absolute lifeline for people like myself; as well as provide wonderful facilities and treatments to help deal with the condition it is the perfect place for friends, families and carers to meet and talk about their issues and concerns.”

When EMS Stairlifts received Julie’s application, they had absolutely no hesitation in making the award, saying: “It’s precisely for individuals like Julie that the STAIRLIFT ANGELS INITIATIVE is intended. She is a truly remarkable lady who has given much of her time to the Chilterns MS Therapy Centre these past thirteen years. It is only right that she is given something back in her own particular hour of need.”

Mick Armstrong and Jonathan Muir EMS Lifts Directors formally presented Julie with her stairlift together with local MP and Speaker of the House of Commons the Rt Hon John Bercow MP. An equally delighted Mr Bercow who wholeheartedly endorsed this philanthropic gesture by EMS remarked: “It is reassuring to know there are still companies out there who, despite the pressures of the current financial climate, are prepared to go out of their way and donate generous gifts like this to such well deserving families. This stairlift will literally transform Julie’s life. What better start to Christmas could she and her family have hoped for?”


The Prime Minister, David Cameron, congratulates Steve Tarrant at 10 Downing Street for all his outstanding efforts as a Games Maker during the Olympic and Paralympic Games

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, congratulates Steve Tarrant at 10 Downing Street for all his outstanding efforts as a Games Maker during the Olympic and Paralympic Games

Steve Tarrant, 51 from Poole, who set a new 24 hour World Record on a TGA mobility scooter in June and was responsible for medal bearing at the Olympics and Paralympics, has received the Big Society Award from David Cameron at 10 Downing Street on behalf of fellow Games Makers.

Steve Tarrant is an inspirational disabled motorsport marshal who survived a highly publicised near-fatal crash incident at Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2000. He marshals at around 30-40 international motorsport events per year such as the Le Mans 24 Hours, Petit Le Mans at Atlanta and Goodwood meetings. Steve lost a leg above the knee and suffered multiple injuries when an F1 racing car collided with him at over 100mph whilst marshaling on the finish line at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Steve managed to miraculously pull through the aftermath of this terrible accident and earlier this year, established a new World Record on a TGA Breeze S4 mobility scooter by travelling 173.287miles (278.88km) in 24 hours for charity. Despite appalling track conditions and extreme weather, he completed 830 laps of the Peterborough Arena Speedway Track at the 2012 Mobility Roadshow thanks to support of motorsport colleagues and a TGA pit crew. This resulted in Steve and TGA holding the record for ‘travelling the further distance ever in 24 hours on a mobility scooter’. Steve continued in the media spotlight after the Mobility Roadshow with official Games Maker and victory ceremony medal bearing duties at the sailing venue in Weymouth. These outstanding contributions led to nominations for him to accept the Big Society Award and Steve has now also received an invitation to attend BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Steve Tarrant, disabled motorsport marshal and TGA mobility scooter world record holder, rides his funky TGA Vita mobility scooter dressed in his official Olympic Games Maker uniform.

Steve Tarrant, disabled motorsport marshal and TGA mobility scooter world record holder, rides his funky TGA Vita mobility scooter dressed in his official Olympic Games Maker uniform.

Over 240,000 people across the UK applied to be a London 2012 Games Makers and Steve was one of 70,000 who were successful. Alongside a select group of fellow Games Makers, Steve was invited to 10 Downing Street last week (28 November) to meet David Cameron and accept a Big Society Award which recognises the huge contribution made by these individuals during this summer’s Games. Since its launch by the Prime Minister in November 2010, this was the 50th award given to individuals or groups who help to build a bigger, stronger society.

Steve commented: “It was such an honour for me to accept this award on behalf of all the Games Makers who have definitely established a positive legacy around the world. I chatted to David Cameron for around ten minutes in one of the forth floor reception rooms at 10 Downing Street, regarding my experiences in the summer and as he had been to all the Olympic and Paralympic venues, spoke very knowledgably about the subject. We both agreed Ben Aisle’s achievement was simply outstanding and as I am a TGA Vita mobility scooter and wheelchair user, I was able to park my car right outside the front door of 10 Downing Street! My fellow Games Makers and I thoroughly enjoyed the evening drinks reception that followed and the hospitality we received was impeccable. I look forward to relaying my recollections to all the many people I meet when riding around on my eye catching orange TGA Vita mobility scooter. 2012 has been a truly amazing year for me what with establishing a new World Record thanks to TGA, official involvement during the Games and being invited to 10 Downing Street. To top that, I have also now being invited to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2012 to appear with other Games Makers as the show at ExCeL (16 December) will be focusing around the outstanding success of the Olympics and Paralympics.”

Steve adds: “2012 has been quite literally a phenomenal year for me, however I plan to achieve even more in 2013! I am already discussing the possibility of attempting another epic world record with TGA on one its marketing leading mobility scooters and hope to be involved in some capacity with the very special 30th Anniversary Mobility Roadshow in June. I continue to draw up my international motorsport marshaling plans for next year as normal, along with my continued search for a commercial sponsor and opportunities where my unique knowledge of accessibility and sport, can be leveraged to assist disabled people everywhere.”

Daniel Stone, TGA Managing Director concludes: “We fully congratulate Steve on this latest recognition of his commitment and dedication to help improve society and promote accessibility for all. Steve has clearly shown the remarkable difference a non-traditional looking Vita mobility scooter can make to levels of independence, in terms of everyday living and wellbeing along with remarkable personal achievement. His determination earlier in the year to drive one of our TGA mobility scooters for 24 hours to smash a World Record was inspiring and I do not think David Cameron could have selected a better Games Maker to accept this Big Society Award.”

Steve continues to raise donations for two charities –
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