Champion wheelchair-tennis player Andy McErlean has aced his domestic life by fitting a homelift.

He and his wife Cathy, a primary school teacher, recently extended their bungalow into a two-storey, four-bedroom home. The lift has been an important part of the property’s transformation and can transport Andy and his wheelchair between floors in 30 seconds.

He previously had to use a stairlift and was concerned about falling, when transferring out of the wheelchair. It was also inconvenient, if he needed to go downstairs quickly to get something.

Andy is a former soldier from Waterlooville, Hampshire, who fractured his spine and suffered lower-limb paralysis in a car accident in Germany when he was just 19 years old. But he has never let his injury prevent him taking part in his beloved sport. He won wheelchair tennis titles at the Paralysed Veterans of America Games and two Invictus Games. He was also a “training hitter” for Team GB at two Paralympics. He is someone to whom living as freely and independently as possible is hugely important.

His Stiltz Trio+ Homelift has been a revelation. “I found out about Stiltz from my wife who watches DIY SOS, and the show happened to feature one of their models,” says Andy, 54. “A stairlift was getting harder to use all the time and not nice to look at. By positioning the Trio+ in the hall alcove, we then designed the rest of the house around it, including a large upstairs landing.” It also complements the contemporary décor of the couple’s remodelled house.

Andy can seamlessly access his whole house and getting to his new home gym for pre-tournament training is now easy. The lift can accommodate a passenger using a wheelchair or other mobility aids. Along with gently ramped access and multiple safety features, it has a powered automatic door.

Cathy is also finding it useful: “The lift is really easy to use and reliable. It’s just superb. I use it to take heavier things upstairs, such as my standing frame or suitcases, like when my little nephew stayed the other week. Our many young nieces and nephews all love the lift. They say ‘Uncle Andy’s lift is so cool!’”

Andy’s passion for sport has recently taken him in a new direction. He is now a leading light in the fast-growing sport of pickleball, a game that is similar to tennis but played with paddles. He won gold in the wheelchair event at last year’s English Nationals.

“I’m entering the same competition in Telford later this year, along with the English Open Pickleball Tournament,” says Andy “I’ll be training soon to get into shape for both – with our house’s accessible remodel and the home gym, there are no excuses.”

Andy is happy to be interviewed about his accessible home redevelopment and his sporting achievements. He could also write an op-ed.


About Stiltz

Stiltz is the UK’s leading homelift provider. The company manufacturers, supplies and installs a range of models in different sizes and for different needs. For more information, visit 

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