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Astor-Bannerman Welcome Celebrity Visitor

Last month we were delighted to welcome TV personality Christine Hamilton for a VIP tour of our Cheltenham factory where we design and manufacture life changing assisted bathing and patient handling equipment for people with complex needs and various disabilities worldwide.

Christine arrived at our head office representing national charity Muscular Dystrophy UK, for which she has been a supporter for over six years.

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Christine Hamilton, who lives nearby in the Cotswolds, became an official Celebrity Ambassador for Muscular Dystrophy UK in 2013, after hearing the story of Astor-Bannerman employee Phil Grant who has raised over £16,000 for the charity.

Phil and Debbie Grant got involved with Muscular Dystrophy UK 20 years ago when their son, Chris, was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.  Chris was born with the genetic condition, which gradually causes the muscles to weaken and leads to an increasing level of disability.  Now he is in a wheelchair and requires specialist equipment and full-time support from his parents to live his life.

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What is Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy?

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a life-shortening muscle-wasting condition, caused by the lack of a vital muscle protein called dystrophin.  The condition causes muscles to weaken and waste over time, leading to increasing and severe disability.  It also affects the heart and vital breathing muscles too.  Most of those affected will use a wheelchair by the age of 12 and will face life-threatening health problems by their late teens as their heart and breathing muscles weaken.  Few of those born with the condition currently live to see their 30th birthday.

Astor-Bannerman and Muscular Dystrophy UK

Astor-Bannerman worked closely with Muscular Dystrophy 20 years ago to develop a washbasin which would be suitable for children with Muscular Dystrophy to use when young, and as they grow older and their disability progresses.  This ABW6 height adjustable wash basin was one of the first products designed and manufactured by Astor-Bannerman and.  Although this specialist wash basin has undergone numerous developments over the years, it still remains one of our most popular products to assist with independent living and care.

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The Future of Astor-Bannerman and MDUK

Following the visit to learn more about Astor-Bannerman, our dedicated team and the equipment manufactured, Christine commented:

“I really enjoyed my day with Astor-Bannerman, in my capacity as an Ambassador for Muscular Dystrophy UK.  It was a pleasure to meet the staff and see for myself how their ingenious equipment can really transform the lives of people with disabilities. 

I already knew from my work with Muscular Dystrophy UK that it’s essential for people with severe disabilities to have the right adaptations at home. For a severely disabled young man, for example, an adjustable wash basin gives a small bit of independence, which is so valuable if you have to rely on people for so much care. The relationship with Muscular Dystrophy UK and Astor-Bannerman is stronger than ever and, together, their work is truly life-changing.”

James Stuart-Smith, Managing Director of Astor-Bannerman, said:

“It was an absolute pleasure to welcome Christine to Astor-Bannerman and introduce her to our team and I’d like to thank Phil Grant for making the invitation following his extensive fundraising.

Phil and everyone at Astor-Bannerman play immensely important roles in the success of our company, from design and manufacture to customer services and aftercare of our life-changing assisted bathing and care equipment. 

Having the chance to learn more about Christine’s great work with Muscular Dystrophy UK was very interesting. I was proud to explain how we’ve worked so closely with the charity to develop our specialist adjustable wash basin since Astor-Bannerman began over 24 years ago.

We look forward to working with Christine and Muscular Dystrophy UK, building on our close relationship, for many years to come.”

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About Muscular Dystrophy UK

Muscular Dystrophy UK is the charity for 70,000 people living with muscle-wasting conditions.

The team make a difference today, by providing vital information and support to help people live independently. They make a difference for tomorrow, by accelerating progress in research and driving the campaign for access to emerging treatments.

Astor-Bannerman Invitation

Initiations to visit Astor-Bannerman are not only open to celebrities and charities.  We welcome visits from anyone who would like to learn more about our work, meet the team and see our specialist equipment in action.  If you would like to visit, please contact the team on 01242 820820 or email sales@astorbannerman.co.uk to arrange.  Alternatively, you can send us a message here.