Graham is helping to provide a bath replacement system for Dawn Belprez, 42, who suffered a stroke in 2011.

Graham helps Stroke Club member Dawn

Published:  18 July, 2013

Graham Plumbers’ Merchant has lent a helping hand to Abingdon’s Stroke Club member Dawn Belprez, who will have a bath replacement system fitted after the Stroke Club’s effort to raise £1,500 in funds.

Following a stroke that left her paralysed down her right side, Ms Belprez from East Hanney was no longer able to take a shower without her husband’s help. Abingdon organisation strokeclub.org took matters into its own hands, to raise funds for a level-access shower that would allow Dawn to regain autonomy.

Ms Belprez has been a member of Stroke Club since the beginning of 2013. The club is run by survivors Gary Gill and Brendan Kehoe, who organised a local event on Good Friday 2013 in order to raise funds towards the installation of a low-level shower and auxiliary appliances in Ms Belprez’s home.

“Dawn is a lovely lady and we knew how much she was struggling,” said Mr Gill. “So we put our minds together and came up with the idea to have an ’80s bash to raise funds, selling tickets for £10. We had so much fun at the disco and raised £1,500 in total; it was absolutely worth it.”

After Mr Gill and Ms Belprez had visited the showroom to look at disability-friendly shower designs, Graham Plumbers’ Merchant and its customer Heelas Heating & Renewables – an Abingdon-based plumbing and heating company – agreed to supply and install the shower solution free of charge.

Graham branch manager William Storey says: “We really felt for Dawn. The Abingdon branch is a specialist showroom for bathrooms with a variety of high-quality solutions to suit different needs. As such, we are pleased to have been able to help the Belprez family. Heelas, in turn, is the ideal partner for installing the system as they share Graham’s belief in social responsibility.”

Steven Shields, works manager for Heelas Heating & Renewables, who is installing the new shower, also welcomed the initiative from the start. “Heelas has over 20 years of experience in plumbing, heating and bathroom installation. As a locaI company it was a no-brainer that we wanted to help make Dawn’s life easier,” he said.

With the support of several manufacturers and contractors, Graham is able to build a cost-neutral solution into the Belprez home. “This allows Stroke Club to reinvest the funds raised into other life-changing projects”, added Mr Storey.

The system, worth approximately £2,000, comprises of IDS shower walls, a Lakes walk-in shower enclosure, an Aqualisa shower and Roper Rhodes accessories, including grab bars and a shower seat.

Ms Belprez’s husband David, who has continuously cared for her for the past two years, said: “Dawn is over the moon. We have been waiting for this shower for so long. The new shower room will really give some independence back to my wife.”

For more information on Graham Plumber’s Merchant visit www.grahamplumbersmerchant.co.uk. For additional information on Stroke Club go to www.strokeclub.org and for information on Heelas Heating & Renewables to www.heelasheating.co.uk.

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