Great gran to try for sports club stairlift

AN 80-year-old great-grandmother is spearheading a bid to land Sidmouth Rugby Club an unusual new piece of kit – a stairlift.

Joy Seward, who is registered disabled, says the mobility aid would benefit the club by helping users who struggle to reach its first-floor facilities.

Reigning Citizen of the Year Joy wants to raise at least �2,000 and hopes the Sid Vale Association’s Keith Owen Fund might then be able to match-fund the amount.

Joy, who suffers from arthritis and is a lifelong club patron along with her husband Colin, said: “It is not until you are disabled yourself and you can’t do things that you realise how difficult it is.

“Several people I knew couldn’t get up the stairs to the patrons’ lunch. It was such a shame they missed out – and so did the rugby club as people weren’t there to pay for food and drinks. I realised how important getting a stairlift would be. I’d like to think it could help a lot of people.”

Joy, who retired from decades of sterling Sidmouth in Bloom duties after 40 years in 2011, thinks the spirit of last year’s “incredible” Paralympic Games was an inspiration.

She would also like to see it harnessed and for all generations to get involved with her initiative.

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She recalls taking her son Mark to the rugby club when he was seven years old. He is now its chairman.

“We just love the club,” said Joy. “It offers the town so much.”

She also hopes the stairlift will boost other groups and organisations that use the Heydons Lane clubhouse.

“I’m on my way and am determined to get there” added Joy, who has raised nearly �500 to date.

Contact Joy on 01395 579965 or e-mail to support her bid.