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Acorn’s Sarah plays matchmaker after hospice plea

12:00am | & Lifestyle

When a patient of our local Sue Ryder hospice desperately needed a stairlift, Acorn was able to match her with a generous customer who was happy to donate her no-longer-needed lift.

Acorn has a longstanding relationship with the Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice, just a few miles from our West Yorkshire HQ. As well as fundraising for the hospice, we regularly install stairlifts free of charge for people in its care so they can remain in their own homes for longer. It also helps to keep Manorlands’ in-patient beds free for those who need them most.

Recently Manorlands got in touch about one of its patients, Mrs Kelly, who could no longer manage the stairs in her home due to failing health. Without a stairlift she might be unable to stay at home with her husband, which she desperately wanted to do.

Mrs Kelly’s staircase has a bend in it, which makes fitting a stairlift a little more complex, but a lucky coincidence was about to fall her way. Here at Acorn HQ we have a Relocations Team, helping customers sell on their stairlifts to new owners if they’re no longer needed. Our trained engineers then remove the stairlift and fit it in its new home, making sure it’s safe and fully tested.

By sheer chance, Relocations Team member Sarah Davis, knew of a stairlift that might be just right for Mrs Kelly. On the same day that Mrs Kelly’s staircase was surveyed, Sarah heard from a customer trying to relocate hers. Because hers was a curved lift it was proving more difficult to sell, because she needed a buyer with a very similar staircase.

“This lovely lady said all she really wanted was for the stairlift to go to someone who would benefit from it,” explained Sarah, “but because it wasn’t selling she didn’t know what to do. When I told her about Mrs Kelly she really wanted to help and offered to give her stairlift free of charge, which was really generous of her.”

With a solution in sight, it became a matter of logistics, getting the stairlift removed and installed in its new home as quickly as possible to meet Mrs Kelly’s desperate need. This is where Acorn’s national network of skilled stairlift engineers came into its own, with Luke Gorringe able to remove the lift that same day and bring it to our West Yorkshire factory for a thorough check, and Owen Buckley taking and installing it in Mrs Kelly’s home the very next day.

Owen was also able to make small modifications on site to ensure the stairlift was a perfect fit and, of course, we waived our relocation fee. The whole operation was managed like clockwork by Acorn’s Installations Supervisor Fiona Hardaker.

“Mr and Mrs Kelly were over the moon that not only were we able to help them, but we managed to do it so quickly,” said Sarah, who again thanked original owner for her generous act. “Mr Kelly said he wanted to come to the office and thank me personally and even though I told him it really wasn’t necessary, he was adamant.”

True to his word, Mr Kelly arrived this week with a bouquet of flowers and a giant chocolate Easter bunny for a delighted Sarah.

“I have to admit, this relocation pulled my heart strings and when I got home that night I had a little weep,” said Sarah. “The flowers are now in a vase and I will dry them out and hang them from one of my beams as a reminder that through teamwork we could give Mrs Kelly the chance to stay at home and actually to get upstairs.”

Sarah is pictured receiving her gifts from a very grateful Mr Kelly.

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