Stroud Congregational Church is a church with a difference as it is situated on the first floor above a function room, making it less accessible than most churches in the country.
For the past 30 years parishioners who were unable to climb the spiral stone staircase made use of a standard lift, until recently when it finally started to show its age and become very unreliable. Church volunteer Kay Weaver explained: “The lift had served us very well, but as it became more temperamental we took the decision to stop using it, on grounds of health and safety. We knew it would need some money spent on it, but when we received quotes in excess of £25,000 we were extremely shocked.”
The church had recently spent most of its fundraising money on revamping the ground floor hall, therefore Kay and the team knew they would have to find a cheaper option and started looking into the possibility of having a stairlift installed. Kay continued: “Several local companies came and had a look, but they were unable to help due to the style of the staircase. Luckily one of them recommended Dolphin Lifts Western and as soon as we met up with Director Tom Wakefield, we knew there was a solution - and at a fraction of the cost of repairing our original lift.”
The solution came in the form of a bespoke Stannah Siena stairlift, specifically designed to wrap around the church’s stone spiral staircase. Tom explained: “This was certainly one of our more unusual installations, but working in conjunction with Stannah, we quickly put together a stairlift solution which would meet the requirements of Kay and her fellow parishioners at Stroud Congregational Church.” Dolphin Lifts’ experienced engineers Simon Andrews and Mark White were able to install the lift without any major alterations, whilst ensuring there was plenty of space for other stair users to pass by.
On the first Sunday following the installation several people used the stairlift and everyone commented on how easy it was to operate and how safe and comfortable they felt whilst travelling up and down the spiral staircase. A final word from Kay on behalf of the church: “The stairlift is just fantastic. I would not be surprised if people who felt they did not need to use the original lift, will now choose to use the stairlift, because it is so quick and reliable. We are so grateful to Dolphin Lifts Western for finding such a cost-effective solution to our rather unusual access problem.”
Dolphin Lifts Western Ltd. is an independent, family-run supplier of stairlifts, hoists, homelifts, wheelchair access lifts, pool lifts and ramps, covering the South West of England. Part of the Dolphin Group – one of the UK’s largest independent suppliers of mobility access equipment – Dolphin Lifts Western Ltd. has a sound reputation among local councils, housing associations, care and repair organisations and private customers across the South West regions. It is also an approved supplier of some of the biggest brands in the industry including Stannah, Terry, Otolift, Homeadapt and Thyssen amongst others.
For more information about Dolphin Lifts Western and the range of independent living solutions available please visit www.dolphinliftswestern.co.uk or call freephone 0800 1693404 to speak to an advisor.