Carnforth widow in home lift trauma

Helen Briggs at her home in Carnforth.
Helen Briggs at her home in Carnforth.

The Lancaster Guardian has helped an elderly widow get the lift she desperately needs to keep her mobile in her home.

Helen Briggs, from Carnforth, contacted us to express her despair after being left without a lift for three months despite already paying an £8,000 deposit for a reconditioned unit.

But after being approached by the Guardian, British Homelifts have now said they will install a brand new mini lift, at no extra cost.

Mrs Briggs is considering whether to take the offer as she claims the experience has “eroded her trust in the firm”.

The 73-year-old, who lives on North Road, said: “No one fits a lift for fun, it does not add value to a house, rather it devalues.”

Mrs Briggs has arthritis and damaged her back in a bad fall in April 2015, when she also broke her right wrist.

The mum-of-one wanted a mini home lift installed from her hallway to her study upstairs.

“For 15 months I hoped my mobility would improve and that I would be able to use the house stairs again without help,” said Mrs Briggs. 
“The stairs are steep, narrow and have turns.

“Sadly my mobility has not improved and I am frightened of falling again.

“This was why I decided to use my savings on a lift so that I would be able to use my house shower and bedroom.”

Mrs Briggs said she was visited by a staff member of British Homelifts on August 6 who offered her a reconditioned lift.

“He phoned the firms installation manager to check that they had a reconditioned lift available and said that workmen would be in my area on September 6,” she said.

“I agreed so he booked for me to have a reconditioned lift installed on September 6. I paid £8k deposit, it is now December and no lift has been installed yet.”

Ian Myers, Operations Director at British Homelifts, has said they are working with Mrs Briggs as a matter of urgency.

He said: “I have already instructed our factory to manufacture the lift as a matter of urgency, in anticipation of her agreement and the lift will be installed within 28 days of her agreement to this.

“Whilst we endeavour to source and supply reconditioned lifts –at an extremely discounted cost for customers who would rather not pay the full price of a new lift – as swiftly as possible, delivery and installation can be variable.

“This is explained to customers at the time of order.”

Mrs Briggs is considering all her options before she makes a decision.