Isle of Man TT
The first guest to make use of the new Joey Dunlop Lodge has given the facility a glowing report, and urged people to continue supporting the endeavour.
The lodge, which provides holiday accommodation for people with disabilities, was open by Joey’s widow Linda and John McGuinness during the 2010 TT after almost a decade of fundraising by the Joey Dunlop Foundation.
The foundation was determined to create a permanent tribute to 26-times TT winner and tireless charity worker Joey, who lost his life in a racing crash in 2000.
The lodge, at Braddan Bridge on the TT course, houses three specially-designed apartments and is now open for business.
Graham Bean, who is a wheelchair user due to multiple sclerosis, was the first guest, joined by his friend and carer Tony Phillips and Tony’s 14-year-old son Robert during the Manx Grand Prix.
He was full of praise for the facility.
"The Trustees of the Joey Dunlop Foundation, under the chairmanship of Kevin Quirk, have done a tremendous job over a considerable period of time in achieving their long-term objective of providing such a wonderful facility for those with mobility problems."
"The three bedroom apartment in which we stayed is equipped with electric beds which can be raised to aid transfer, as well as having the facility to put the occupant into the upward reclining position."
"Wardrobe rails, drawers, light switches – including touch sensitive bedside lights – are fully accessible to those in wheelchairs. Two bath / wet rooms are equipped with a substantial number of grab rails, fixed and drop-down, alongside the toilets and showers; there is also an Aquatec chair with commode."
"A Moveman SKG lift with automatic door and an outside phone line in case of emergency gives access to this, the upstairs apartment [the other two, a two and one bedroom apartment are on the ground floor]; an external stairway also provides access to upper floor. Fire doors throughout the apartment automatically close when an alarm is raised. A mobile Oxford Presence Hoist is also available to assist transfer."
"In the lounge/kitchen area there is a sofa, electric reclining chair, dining table/chairs, coffee table, flat screen wall-mounted TV, radio, wi-fi internet connection, accessible cupboards, low-level hob/oven, microwave, etc – the sink even has an electric connection allowing it to be raised so that a wheelchair bound person can put their legs underneath in order to do the washing-up…oh, joy!
Towels, duvet/bed linen, basic kitchen consumables – tea, coffee, milk, etc – were provided."
"All guests have access to the balcony, from which we got an excellent view of a practice session – during our stay a group of local children with disabilities were invited to watch the racing from here. The adjoining building, formerly a garage, has been converted to a utility room with washer, tumble dryer & sink unit; this area, I believe, will also serve as the office for the Foundation."
"Fund raising is by no means finished – the Foundation, a registered charity, requires the money to continually update its equipment, provide consumables and carry out general maintenance."
"Please ‘spread the word’ that the Isle of Man now has an excellent, appropriately priced facility for people with disabilities, due to the initiative and hard work of a group of people who were inspired by a truly great man – Joey Dunlop."
The Lodge is open all year around; for further information contact the Chairman of the Joey Dunlop Foundation, Kevin Quirk – firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.joeydunlopfoundation.com