Friday, December 14, 2007

Dolphin Stairlifts South Wales Sponsor Brass Band

THE Vale of Glamorgan Brass Band has recently received a sponsorship deal from Dolphin Stairlifts South Wales Limited.

This is the first time in the bands history that an alliance has been made with a business in the South Wales area. It is also a first for the South Wales based firm.

John Pearce, managing director of the Dolphin Stairlifts was pleased to offer assistance to the band when hearing of the work that has been undertaken during recent years.

The band has been able to offer services free of charge to a residential care home and a day centre for elderly persons and is possibly looking to increase this activity in the build up to Christmas and in the New Year.

Terry Short, the band's Chairman said: "It has been usual for the band to carry out fundraising to meet it's own operating costs around the Christmas period, but with the new sponsorship and recent grants received we hope to be able to extend our charity work with some fundraising efforts being made for Cancer Research".

The band are seen in the photograph with the resident Musical Director, Dave Short (Back row), Mark Weston of Dolphin Lifts South Wales Limited and the bands president, Cllr Jeffrey James (second row).

The sponsorship that has included the provision of new polo shirts with the name of the band and the company logo of Dolphin Stairlifts has meant the band has also been able to release other funds to help the junior and training sections of the band. The success of this new initiative has already seen younger players join the senior band.

Terry Short explained: "New players and those who cannot play a brass instrument at the moment are always welcome in the band. Our learning band runs on Monday's from 6.30pm to 7.30pm which is then followed by the senior band that concludes around 9.30pm."

The band practises in a recently refurbished and dedicated building in grounds owned by the Barry Athletic Club. You needn't worry if you don't have your own instrument as the band supplies these and most of the music you will need. Percussion and drum skills are also in demand by the band!

The band is also setting up a series of "turn up and have a go sessions."

This will enable people to try something they have never done before without attending a formal lesson or rehersal; you could have a go at blowing a cornet or perhaps one of the larger instruments in the band.

The only talent required is the ability blow, the band will show you how to make some noise!

Details of the bands activities can be obtained from the band's secretary Angela Coomer on 01446 400846 or musical director Dave Short 01446 408741, or via the bands website or Email:

Friday, December 07, 2007

Downward facing stairlift seat

The following images show the Freelift Van Gogh Stairlift with a downward facing seat. The chair swivels at an angle of 45 degrees.

Swivel Seat Stairlift
Freelift Swivel Seat
Stairlift Swivel
For more information and prices visit the Dolphin Stair Lifts website.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Hampshire grants for renovations

New Forest council has £50,000 left in its renovation grant fund for the last four months of the year. Grants of up to £5,000 are available for essential repairs and adaptations.

Disabled facilities grants are still available for people who require adaptations, such as wheelchair ramps, stairlifts and bathroom and kitchen improvements. They apply to home owners and tenants alike. Call the grants helpline on 023 8028 5151.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Stannah 420 Straight Stairlift with Saxon chair

The least expensive Stannah chair available is the Saxon, which is shown below.

Stannah Saxon Stairlift
If you are considering the purchase of a Stannah stairlift and are confused by which chair is the most suitable for you then contact Dolphin Stair Lifts on 0800 9800 126.

Stannah 420 Straight Stairlift with Sofia chair

The image below shows a Stannah 420 straight stair lift with a Sofia chair. Again the chair can be used on the straight rail and the curved rail.

Stannah Sofia Stairlift

The Sofia is very similar to the Solus chair and features the same options and extras. The main difference is in the design of the chair. Leather upholstery is not an option on the Sofia but is available on the Solus in a choice of 3 colours.

Stannah 420 Straight Stairlift with Solus Chair

This picture shows the Solus chair being used on a straight stairlift rail.

Stannah Solus Stairlift

Stannah are currently the only stairlift manufacturer that make a chair that can be power swivelled in both directions. The two way powered swivel is available on the Solus and Sofia chairs only. The Solus and Sofia can only be purchased through Stannah direct and a select group of dealers such as Dolphin Stair Lifts.

Stannah Stair Lifts - Solus Curved Stairlift

The image below shows a Stannah 260 curved rail stairlift fitted with a Solus chair.

Solus Curved Stairlift

This is one of the new Stannah Stairlift chairs that have been developed in conjuction with the design agency Seymour Powell.

Stannah 420 Stairlift Powered Hinge

After visiting the Stannah factory this week, I thought it might be a good idea to post a few images of the new product ranges. The images below show a Stannah 420 stairlift with a powered folding hinge fitted.

Powered Hinge Stair Lift
Powered Hinge Stairlift
A folding hinge is required on a stairlift when there is a door or open hallway at the bottom of the staircase.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Acorn Mobility Acquire Bison Bede

Confirmation came this week that Acorn Mobility Services Limited have acquired Bison Bede Ltd. We have been told that Bison will continue to operate with its dealers as normal and that there are to be no changes to product names, lead times or availability.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Reconditioned Secondhand Stairlifts

Dolphin Stairlifts Surrey branch have a huge selection of reconditioned stairlifts in stock. Many of the lifts have unfortunately had very little use and with installed prices starting from £800 for a straight stairlift there are some great bargains to be had.

A reconditioned or secondhand stairlift is every bit as good as a brand new one and if you buy from Dolphin then you can enjoy the peace of mind of having your stairlift professionally installed by experts. A list of reconditioned stairlifts is available on their website.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Dolphin Stairlifts Kent move offices

Following the closure of the Independent Life Shop in Ashford, where Dolphin Stairlifts were displaying some equipment, Ian Elford of Dolphin Stairlifts in Kent would like to assure customers that Dolphin Stairlifts(Kent) is still in operation. Following their recent expansion, they have moved offices and warehousing facilities to Stanford, just off the M20 at junction 11.

Dolphin Stairlifts (Kent)
Kent Outside M25
Yew Tree Farm
Stone Street
Ashford, Kent
TN25 6DH

Tel: 01303 813606
Fax: 01303 264409

New Dolphin Stairlifts Branch

Dolphin (Chester) have opened a new Branch in Ellesmere Port. This office will cover the areas of Cheshire, Wirral and North Wales. What was Dolphin (Chester) is now called Dolphin (Midshires) and will cover the areas of Staffordshire, Shropshire and Mid Wales. The details are as follows:

Dolphin (Midshires)
Rubicon Centre
Broad Ground Road
B98 8YP
01527 404303

email -

Dolphin (Chester)Ltd
Stanlaw Abbey Business Centre
Dover Drive
Ellesmere Port
CH65 9BF
Tel: 0151 355 5550

email -

Friday, September 07, 2007

Stannah Stairlift Advert

One of the new adverts from Stannah Stairlifts. The campaign focuses on people's attitudes to having a stair lift.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Legal action stops stairlift customer being mislead

This article was published on the Mature Times website.

Stannah Stairlifts Limited and Stannah Lift Holdings Limited have recently reached out of court settlements with both County Stairlifts Limited and Platinum Rails Limited to stop either business from using Stannah’s trade marks to advertise, promote, sell or install second hand curved stairlifts re-fabricated from parts originally manufactured by Stannah.The settlements require that Stannah’s trade marks are permanently removed from the stairlift chair and motor unit.

This is a significant victory for Stannah who received a large number of complaints from people who bought second hand re-fabricated curved stairlifts from a variety of sources in the belief that Stannah was responsible for the quality and performance of the stairlift - which was not the case.

The design and installation process for re-fabricated products is radically different from the process that Stannah uses. Stannah did not approve these installations as they had no control over how well the re-fabricated assembly would perform. In fact re-fabricated products often fall well short of both British Standards and Stannah’s own quality standards.

Jon Stannah, the company's Managing Director, said: "We are delighted that we have reached these settlements as we have become increasingly concerned that consumers were being misled to think that they where buying an original Stannah stairlift, albeit secondhand, and that these stairlifts were approved by Stannah as they bore our trade marks. "When we install a curved stairlift it is a bespoke design for our customer’s staircase. Those being sold secondhand are ‘best fit’ from unwanted curved rails originally designed for a completely different staircase. In our view, these fall well short of our quality and performance standards."

Thursday, August 30, 2007

City may give disabled people more help with adapting their homes

An article from the Yorkshire Post.

By Andrew Robinson

Leeds Council is proposing to give disabled people more freedom with a £2m boost to help them live independently in their own homes.

Its Executive Board is to consider giving an extra £2m to assist disabled Leeds home-owners meet the cost of necessary modifications to their houses.This would almost double the present budget to £4.5m.Private homeowners and tenants with disabled members of their household are eligible for grants up to £25,000 to adapt their homes to improve access to and around the home. These adaptations can range from external ramps to special showers, stair lifts and even extensions.

The council's own agency offers applicants help in designing and drawing up the works schedule, securing any necessary approvals and allocating and supervising the work undertaken by nominated contractors.In the last two years the amount spent in assisting Leeds residents has increased from £2.17m in 2004-5 to £3.75m at the end of March. Based on the number of applications currently being dealt with, the budget for 2007-8 has risen to £4.5m.

The level of Government support for 2007-8 will be £1.569m – equivalent to 35 per cent – leaving the council to find almost £3m. The council estimates that the cost of helping disabled residents in 2008-9 could reach £6m and has submitted an advance bid, asking the Government to meet its 60 per cent contributionFor information and help on disabled facilities grants call the Adaptations Agency on 0113 3957147 or email

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

'Too fat' for a stairlift

The following article appeared in the Manchester Evening News.

Bethan Dorsett 25/ 7/2007

A DISABLED pensioner can't have a stairlift in her home - because she is 'too fat'.Sylvia Hocking, who suffers badly with arthritis, applied to Rochdale council for the lift because she finds it difficult to climb the stairs of her home in Kirkholt. But the 66-year-old gran of two was told by the adult care service that, because she weighs 24st, she has reached the maximum weight limit for a stairlift.

Her request will be reviewed in three months, but only if she loses weight. Mrs Hocking claims she has shed over two stone since she went on a crash diet, but needs urgent help from the council. She said: "I feel abandoned. I have to use a chemical toilet in the kitchen because I can't get up and down the stairs due to pain in my knees and right ankle. "If there comes a time when I lose enough weight and don't need the lift any more then they can take it out, but at the moment I desperately need it." I have severe breathing problems and my doctor says I am on the verge of heart failure because of my weight." It might be months before I lose enough weight to get about the house.

"I am already on a diet and I plan to lose 10st." Mrs Hocking says she was initially informed she was eligible for a stairlift but has now been told her weight is on the borderline for the maximum it can take. A letter from a council occupational therapist said it had been decided to allow her 'time to achieve her goal of weight reduction'.The letter continued: "Your GP has informed us that much of your current mobility problems are due to your weight. "The projected weight loss should significantly increase your mobility." Peta Douglass, for the adult care service, said: "When we originally assessed Mrs Hocking, we had to rule out the option of a stairlift. "The company which provided the lift said that it could not guarantee her safety because of her weight." We had considered other options, but Mrs Hocking said she was on a diet and we agreed to contact her in a few weeks when, potentially, she would have lost weight." We will now arrange to see Mrs Hocking, when we will consider whether a stairlift is the best option to safely meet her needs."

Friday, July 20, 2007

Six year old dies in tragic stairlift accident

This terrible story highlights the importance of using professionals when having a stairlift installed. Although it may cost a little more, an experienced stairlift engineer would never make this type of mistake when installing a stairlift. Certain manufacturers are encouraging the sale of self-install stairlifts, particularly in the US, in my opinion it is just not worth the risk.

SIX-year-old dies in tragic stairlift accident - inquest
Oliver Mapp

A SIX-YEAR-OLD Bolton-le-Sands boy killed in a stairlift accident at his great-grandmother's home would not have died if it was correctly installed, an inquest heard.

Oliver Mapp was playing on the lift on January 28 when he fell and his head became trapped between its footplate and the stair tread. The lift continued to rise up the stairs and Oliver's grandad Robert, who struggled to save him, was unable to stop it, he told Tuesday's inquest.

His grandparents Robert and Pauline had been taking him to visit his great-grandmother Eileen Meeson at her home in Oakengates, Telford, to wish her happy birthday. Michael Gwynne, Telford and Wrekin coroner, recorded a verdict of accidental death.

James Rennie, a consultant forensic engineer, told the court that some safety devices in the lift were not working correctly. Oliver's uncle Stefan Wood, from Telford, told how he had moved the lift from a house without the help of a professional or a manual. Mr Rennie said, because it was installed on the right side of the stairs rather than the left as it had been previously, its obstruction contactor trips were not working. This meant that when Oliver's head was pressing against the trips it would not reverse and free him.

Coroner Mr Gwynne said: "It was those safety devices which failed so far as Oliver was concerned. If they had been in place and working we wouldn't be here today." Mr Rennie also told the inquest children should not be allowed to play on stairlifts. "Stairlifts should be installed by somebody who knows what they are doing," he said. Doctor Edmund Tapp, consultant pathologist, told the inquest Oliver had become unconscious, gone into cardiac arrest and died immediately, although he was not recorded dead until later in hospital.

His cause of death was a head injury which had fractured his skull. Oliver's dad Darren, a retained firefighter at Bolton-le-Sands fire station, and mum Louise, a nurse, travelled down to Shropshire after the accident and were being comforted by other family members in the Telford area. Louise told the inquest he was a "happy and lovely boy". Oliver was a pupil of Bolton-le-Sands CE Primary School.

Friday, July 06, 2007

MCSC Stair lifts

From the Strabane Chronicle.

Mc Gill calls on Minister to ensue funding is released for stair lift adaptations

West Tyrone Sinn Fein MLA Claire Mc Gill has asked the Minister of Health Minister Michael Mc Gimpsey to intervene to ensure that 16 stair lift adaptations in the former Sperrin Lakeland Trust area can proceed.

She says,

"There are currently 16 people in the former Sperrin Lakeland Trust area awaiting stair lift adaptations to their homes. These installations have been fully assessed and approved by the Occupational Therapists and the delay in the release of funding to allow the necessary work to proceed is causing great hardship for those awaiting these essential disability adaptations.

"The delay in the release of funding has meant that many of those awaiting the adaptations have been totally confined to the downstairs area of their homes for months now and are being forced to sleep in their living rooms.

I have therefore asked Health Minister Michael Mc Gimpsey to intervene to ensure that the necessary funding for these stair lift adaptations is released as a matter of urgency.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Stairlift fraudster jailed for conning elderly

A stairlift fraudster from Plymouth has been jailed for 14 months after he admitted conning elderly people out of thousands of pounds.Nigel Warren Roach posed as a stairlift repairer and falsely advised that products were irreparable, getting customers to order expensive and unnecessary replacements which were then not supplied, the court heard.

The court was told that the 35-year-old, from Peverell, was brought to the attention of trading standards in June 2005 when a complaint was made by an elderly couple who had been deprived of their savings and left stranded without access to all floors in their home.

He was investigated by Devon County Council and spokesman Brian Berman said Roach "cynically set out to deceive the elderly and disabled"."He took large sums of money from people for stairlifts and then didn't supply them," he said."In some cases he also took away their existing stairlift leaving them with no means of accessing the first floor of their homes."This case sends a clear warning signal to rogue traders across the region that this type of dishonest practice will not be tolerated."

Some 13 offences related to breaches of the Theft Act, Trade Descriptions Act, Consumer Protection Act, Fair Trading Act and Forgery and Counterfeiting Act. In total, Roach tricked customers out of £4,000.At Plymouth Crown Court, Judge Francis Gilbert QC also gave the police permission to investigate him under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Guardian Capital Letters

Taken from the Capital Letters section of the Guardian newspaper website.

Fighting Churchills on the breaches of promise

My wife died, unexpectedly, last November. Just before that happened, I had sent a £295 annual maintenance fee to Churchills Stairlifts which had supplied and fitted the second-hand chairlift she used. We paid £2,009 for it 12 months previously.

After her death, I had no use for the lift - I very much wanted it out. And I had no use for the 2006-07 maintenance contract, which had not started at the time she last used it.

We had been promised a £450 guaranteed buyback and the removal of the stairlift. When I told Churchills what had happened, I was told I would get a maintenance plan refund. But nothing at all has happened. What is going on?

DD Middlesex

You bought the second-hand and very over-priced lift from Churchills Stairlifts PLC, which was run by Craig James Paterson. This firm went into liquidation two months later, ending its £495 buyback. This would have been reduced anyway by the very small print £295 removal fee, leaving £200 - which was built into the price you paid in the first place.

Paterson has been a director of nine dissolved or liquidated companies including Stairlift Rentals, Air Quality, Paterson Security Services and Hi-Security.

When Churchills Stairlifts PLC went bust, the liquidators sold some of the assets (but not the company Aston Martin and helicopter) to an unconnected company, Churchill's Stairlifts UK, run by accountant Robert Kane and ultimately part of a Dutch group.

Mr Kane told Capital Letters that he is working to restore the firm's reputation with a mix of better service and lower cost appliances. He will remove your unwanted stairlift and return your maintenance fee as a goodwill gesture.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Confusion over VAT cuts for aged

The following article concerns changes in the recent budget and confusion over what they actually mean. Budget 2007.

Gordon Brown's promise to help "grandfathers and grandmothers living with their sons and daughters" was met with scepticism by the very industry it should benefit most.

In last week's Budget the Chancellor announced that VAT on home alterations will be cut from 17.5pc to 5pc for pensioners.

But industry executives were confused to learn that the home alterations would include the installation of stair-lifts, bath lifts and similar types of equipment, as these are already zero-rated for the chronically sick and disabled.

Jon Stannah, managing director of Stannah Group, said: "Almost all people that buy a stair-lift are chronically sick or disabled. These are long-term problems people have in their later years, so it will have little impact on our business. This is why I'm a bit sceptical.

"Brown needs to clarify what the VAT changes are for these home adaptations and the scope of the changes. There is a lot of confusion in the industry about this announcement."

The move was welcomed by the broader industry, which is mainly made up of privately-owned small and medium sized enterprises. Director general of the British Healthcare Trades Association, Ray Hodgkinson, said: "Having products and services more readily available with that sort of facility in the VAT makes it easier for people to buy things for themselves. It will certainly help businesses sell products to people."

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Cost of Stairlifts set to fall

Article from This is Lancashire website

THE cost of installing stairlifts in Kirklees is set to fall following the negotiation of a new contract by the council's Housing and Health Unit.

It will reduce the cost of fitting single flight stairlifts in disabled people's homes by £145 each.

In 2005-6 the Housing and Health Unit arranged for 141 single flight stairlifts to be installed in the homes of Kirklees residents. The new contract could mean sizeable savings for the council.

At the same time, the maintenance agreement for the stairlifts has been awarded to Kirklees Building Services, leading to an average saving of £87 per stairlift each year on the present cost.

Clr Khizar Iqbal, who has housing responsibility on the Kirklees Council Cabinet, said: "Stairlifts help disabled people to retain their independence. It's good news that we can provide the same quality of service and save money."