Those of you who have visited Care for Veterans in recent years will know that our veterans bedrooms are split across three wings. Whilst Norfolk and Richmond wings are situated at ground level, the Alexandra Wing is at first floor level and contains 22 bedrooms. All 22 veterans on the Alexandra Wing are wheelchair users and so the only access up and down is via our two lifts. With meals three times a day in the dining room and the veterans various therapy sessions all based on the ground floor, plus regular usage by visitors and staff, the lifts are a lifeline and are used hundreds of times per day. They are also vital to elderly visitors who cannot climb the stairs or are wheelchair users themselves.
However, due to their age and continuous use, both lifts have started malfunctioning, causing major problems when they do so and involving many call-outs when the lifts break down or need new parts. Indeed, one of the lifts was out of use for two months when we had to wait for a new part to be sourced.
Worse still, the lifts have broken down with one of our veterans or an elderly visitor inside which has been very distressing, especially for those with an acquired brain injury who do not understand what is happening. Breakdowns have also caused disruption and delays in getting veterans to their therapy sessions and to the dining room at meal times. Furthermore, the malfunctioning lifts have cost our charity almost £20,000 in call-out fees, new parts and repairs in the last two years. It is now time to get the lifts renovated.
Research has shown that the entire inside mechanism, controller and hydraulic equipment needs to be replaced which will cost £53,625 per lift. The work will take approximately four weeks to complete but once done will:
offer an additional 10 years of life minimum to the lifts
improve performance, reduce waiting times and noise
reduce energy consumption, benefitting both the environment and reducing our energy costs
improve peace of mind for veterans, family and staff members using the lifts
ensure our veterans can continue to move independently around the facility and attend their therapy sessions
ensure that the costs being saved on ongoing maintenance and energy reduction can be directed straight back into providing first-class care for our veterans
In order to renovate the first of the two lifts, we need to raise £53,625 and we are kindly asking our wonderful supporters if you would be able to donate to this appeal. As a gesture of thanks to those who contribute to the appeal, we will acknowledge their support by including their names on a plaque on the outside of the lift, to be seen by all our veterans, staff and visitors who use them. If you are able to help us, please consider donating via Just Giving.