SSL Scotland undertake work at St Enoch

In a deal worth several thousands of pounds, SSL Scotland - specialists in the supply, installation and maintenance of stairlifts and other equipment - have undertaken work at Glasgow’s St Enoch Centre.

In a bid to ensure the centre’s new food court meets all the expectations of people with impared mobility and other disabilities, SSL Scotland has installed a ceiling track hoist and a wall mounted rise and fall stretcher in the toilet changing area.

Marc Barry, joint owner of SSL Scotland, said: “The owners of the St Enoch Centre were determined that they would be able to meet the needs of all their customers and the installation of this up-to-date equipment means that carers can help people up and down without any risk to themselves or their charges.

“It was a particularly difficult installation since there are false and suspended ceilings in the centre and we had to construct steel frames to take both the weight of the equipment and the loads it is designed to carry."

“SSL has focused until now on installation of equipment in domestic situations. However, we feel that the success of this work may well lead to other prestigious contracts in the commercial property sector."

“The whole team at SSL Scotland is once again delighted to be able to put its experience and expertise at the disposal of private sector clients and to help provide top quality services for their customers.”

Stairlifts Scotland offers access at church

Stairlifts (Scotland), suppliers of access equipment, has been called on to improve access for people with disabled at one of the a historic church.

The family-owned company, based in Glasgow, was asked to take on the sensitive project of installing a circular stairlift at the Glasgow Evangelical Church, formerly known as the Barony North Church, in the pedestrianised Cathedral Square in Townhead.

The stairlift, costing GBP8,000, will provide access from the ground level of the church, to the cafeteria area below.

The installation had to be carried out carefully and sympathetically in the unusual Italianate church with its domed tower.

Lisa Melinda Barry, joint owner of Stairlifts Scotland, said: "Fortunately, at Stairlifts Scotland we have a unique depth of knowledge and wide expertise in all aspects of the built environment in Scotland, from Victorian edifices to modern office blocks.

We are very happy to work under the guidance of Historic Scotland as and then required".

SSL Access aids wheelchair users in restaurant

SSL Access has fitted Glasgow's Sapporo Teppenyaki restaurant with a platform lift to enable diners with disabilties to enjoy their eating experience.

SSL Access worked with specialist fit-out contractor Thomas Johnstone and installed a platform lift to enable wheelchair users to deal with the small flight of stairs that form part of the dining room.

SSL Access is based in Glasgow and is one of the foremost suppliers and installers of access lifts and public access products in the UK.

Marc Barry, director at SSL Access said: "We are doing a lot of work with restaurants, bars and hotels to make sure that their premises can cater for guests with disabilities".

"Although there is legislation in place to ensure companies make their premises suitable for users with disabilities, it is often only when they refit or alter them that many of the necessary changes get made".

Mr Barry said catering for clients with disabilities would open up a new market for many businesses in the hospitality sector and added: "I hope more businesses look to work around the obstacles on their premises and make them easier for customers with disabilities to negotiate.

"These problems can be overcome quickly and for those that get it right, it gives them access to a sizeable new market." With almost 100 000 wheelchair users in Scotland, companies that make an effort to engage with them will find it has a significant impact on their bottom line.

The Ten Minute Interview

Lisa Barry helped found Stairlifts Scotland with her mother in 1996. The company focuses on domestic stairlifts, hoists, shower chairs and automatic toilets while sister company SSL Access provides vertical and platform lifts. Based in the east end of Glasgow, the business employs 26 people and has a turnover of £3m.

What five words would friends/colleagues use to describe you?

Demanding, bossy, frank, fair and compassionate.

If you could choose anyone, who would be your fantasy board members and why?

Mervyn King - if he can't spot economic trends, who can? Sir David Murray - he has always run a tight ship. Lorraine Kelly - she's a consummate communicator. And my mum - she founded the company and she's on the board in reality.

If you could choose anyone, who would be your fantasy dinner party guests and why?

George Clooney, George Clooney and George Clooney. I don't think I have to explain why.

What is your favourite way to unwind during time off?

Going to France and tasting the wine in the vineyards - particularly Epernay for the champagne. Next best is a good bottle of Sauvignon Blanc from the offie.

If you were in charge of Scotland, what would you change and why?

We don't need 32 local authorities. It's a waste of money and effort and it creates far too much duplication for a small country like ours.

What sport are you interested in/which sporting team do you follow?

Real Madrid. I saw them play Barcelona when Zinedine Zidane and Luis Figo were in the team - it was like watching a ballet.

What was the first record you bought/first film you saw?

The first tape I bought was The Rubettes, my first film was The Aristocats and I went to see David Bowie and Big Country on successive nights - Stuart Adamson and Big Country were by far the best act.

What is your favourite memory from your schooldays?

I went to an all-girls school from the age of seven and had a ball. I spent all day talking to my friends and all night talking to the same people on the phone. It drove Dad nuts.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

There are so many. But I still cringe when I remember telling a boy that I fancied, and who was interested in classical music, that Johan Cruyff was a great composer.

Who would play you in the lm of your life?

My hairdresser says I look like a brunette Goldie Hawn. She's suitably kookie.

If you could choose your last meal on earth, what would it be?

I would depart happily after a meal by any one of the chefs at Crabshaak, No 16, Stravaigin in Gibson Street or Hotel du Vin.

What is your favourite karaoke song/party piece?

I can't sing. In fact people would pay me not to sing. But my mum always cracks up when I do my impression of Cannon and Ball's 'rock on Tommy'.

What is your favourite shop/clothing brand/ restaurant?

Hermes - it never dates and it's beautifully made. I like all the individual clothes shops in the west end of Glasgow.

What is your favourite part of/place in Scotland?

Eriskay - it's my retreat. The Queen takes her holidays there and on the other Scottish islands, and she has seen just about every country in the world. It probably takes longer to get there by car and ferry than it takes to get to America, but it's worth it. I also love the west end of Glasgow.

My Working Week

After a successful career, Lisa Melinda Barry has returned home to the family business - disabled access specialist SSL Scotland and SSL Access.

Barry said: "It is a source of great personal satisfaction for me to keep the business running on a sound footing. Because it is a family concern, we are really focused on delivering the highest possible standards for our clients and creating fulfilling job opportunities in the local area.

"I run the business with my brother, Marc, who is something of an entrepreneur, like my mother is. I see myself more as a business person, with a solid understanding of the financial implication of the decisions we have to make."

As managing director Barry has a strategic role directing the long-term direction of the business.

However, she still tries to be hands-on and will answer phones when needed.

On one occasion when nearly all her staff were laid low by a vicious flu epidemic she went out in her business suit to repair a stairlift while the client and his family looked on bemused.

Following business courses at Reid Kerr College and the Glasgow College of Building and Printing, Barry took a number of roles in the motor trade.

She became the first woman in the UK to sell contract hire for heavy vehicles.

She also had stints at Natwest and Barclays before coming home to the family company. Although she enjoys business she gets as much satisfaction from directly affecting the quality of life for her clients and making a real difference to their mobility options.

She said: "We are dealing with very personal areas of people's lives and there are many issues which have to be handled with delicacy and sensitivity.

"Running your own business is all about finding solutions to problems and having a can-do attitude."

Barry hopes to extend the existing premises in Glasgow and double staff numbers in the next five years.