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?”