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The ALLEN residence, bANBRIDGE

Most of us become disabled, whether physical or mentally, either at birth, by accident, hereditary issues, illness or by age.  Some of us need institutional care while others live with family at home. During our lives we make friends, neighbours and memories.  This is a story about a remarkable lady.  Mrs Ann Allen, was diagnosed, aged 36, with Multiple Sclerosis in 2000, and suffers from this debilitating disease (which has now developed into Secondary Progressive MS).

Ann and David were married in 1993, and like all married couples, set up home together.  Their new home was in Banbridge, County Down, in a 2-storey dwelling, accompanied by their beloved cats and surrounded by good neighbours and lovely views.  They have many fond memories in their home and pleasant garden. Unfortunately, although she lives life to the best of her ability, as her disability has worsened, Ann has found it increasingly difficult to get around their home (especially going up and down stairs) or out into the garden. 





In 2019, Ann and David approached Mervyn McNeill of McNeill Architectural Consultancy to see how he could help.

Mervyn identified many solutions a new extension to their home could possibly address, including an area for a lift.  Ann opted for a full passenger lift (capable of carrying her wheelchair), installed by Olympic Lifts Ltd. 


David and Ann’s house has now been transformed and is accessible both inside and out, and given Ann and David a new lease of life in their home today, and for the future.

Mervyn is not only Chartered qualified in architecture, but also surveying, engineering and Project Management and has many special qualifications including Disability Improvement with experience as Assistant Director and Head of Building for a Hospital Trust for 33 years.

Mervyn’s advice to clients building their new one-and-only homes is consider the future house for life; including adaptability of your home, space for provision for lift installation, particularly if two-storey and pleasant views!

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Mervyn McNeill commented, I was delighted that David and Ann trusted me in the conversion of their home.  It was a pleasure to work with both David, Ann and Olympic Lifts Ltd, with the personal attention from Michael Forsythe, Director, as to Ann’s specific requirement for the lift.  We wish David and Ann many pleasant years in their newly adapted home, not forgetting Charlie and Lucy the cats!

Ann & David stated, "We are thrilled with the marvellous home Mervyn McNeill and his team of contractors have created for us.  The extension was married into our existing home perfectly and seamlessly. The lift has changed Ann’s quality of life immeasurably; as has the disabled access to the garden.  We never wanted to be forced to leave our home or neighbourhood and now we never shall!  Our sincere thanks to the highly talented Mervyn McNeill, Olympic Lifts, and Harry Elliott Construction for all their dedicated work and professionalism".

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