Wheelchair users visiting the Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice at Oxenhope, close to Acorn Stairlifts' West Yorkshire HQ, can now access its services more easily.
In the latest phase of our longstanding support for Manorlands, we have provided a specially adapted "WAV" – a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle. It will be used to transport people to and from the hospice so they can take advantage of the various services and therapies it provides for outpatients.
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. It will help combat social isolation for wheelchair users who might otherwise have difficulty getting to the hospice, but would benefit from the day services available there.
Welcoming the donation, Manorlands Hospice Director Lizzie Procter said: "We are delighted that Acorn Stairlifts has chosen to support us once again, benefiting the people we care for in our local communities.
"Acorn have loaned Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice a wheelchair accessible vehicle that will not only save on our costs but more importantly increase wheelchair users' access to our hospice services. We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks for Acorn Stairlifts' continued support."
The new vehicle enables Manorlands' specially-trained volunteer drivers to pick up patients from home in their own wheelchairs, which are then positioned and secured in the rear of the vehicle for the journey to and from the hospice. One patient already using the new vehicle is Val Bevan, of Oxenhope, who visits the Manorlands Hospice Day Therapy Unit once a week.
Val said: "Prior to the donation of the vehicle from Acorn Stairlifts I had to rely on family and friends to take me to Manorlands each week for my treatment. Now each week I get brought in by Stuart in this comfortable and reliable vehicle, which is able to take my wheelchair. It's one less thing that I and my family have to worry about. "
Senior Hospice Fundraiser Andrew Wood added: "This donation is very timely as our dial-a-ride service is just about to close down, so our intention is for volunteers to drive the vehicle and bring in patients to our day therapy unit."
Handing over the new vehicle, Acorn Stairlifts Company Secretary Dave Belmont said: "We've been working with Manorlands for a long time now and we're constantly in awe of the fantastic work it does in our local community.
"The entire Acorn team is delighted that we're able to provide this specially adapted vehicle so that more people can easily access the great range of services which Manorlands provides. We hope it will make a real difference to people's lives."
Last month Acorn donated an identical WAV to the Marie Curie Hospice for the West Midlands on the same two-year basis. That donation was part of a national partnership with Marie Curie under which we have pledged to donate and install up to 60 free stairlifts per year for its patients across the UK, enabling them to stay in their own homes and easing the pressure on hospice beds.
Our picture shows (from the left) David Harrison, one of the Manorlands patients who will benefit from the new vehicle, with Acorn Stairlifts Company Secretary Dave Belmont handing the keys to volunteer driver Stuart Farrington.
To watch a short video in which Manorlands director Lizzie Procter talks about how the new WAV will benefit patients accessing the hospice's services, click here.