A FORMER rugby league player has been given a life-transforming lift by a Steeton company.

Acorn Stairlifts stepped in after it heard how crippling rheumatoid arthritis meant Darrell Grounds was virtually a prisoner in the upstairs of his home.

The company provided a stairlift for free.

"Over the past few years my freedom had completely diminished," said Darrell, 48, who used to play rugby in his native St Helens.

"I was active and played rugby regularly at one time but my excruciating arthritis made daily tasks, such as climbing the stairs, an unendurable task.

"When I was told about the stairlift offer, I was so touched by the generosity and knew how much it would change my life.

"My freedom has returned and I can’t thank the team at Acorn Stairlifts enough."

Acorn's operations director, Nick Wilson, said the firm was delighted to help.

"It’s so important to us to support people like Darrell who – due to physical conditions – experience excruciating pain when facing stairs," he said.

"We want people to feel safe, comfortable and confident in their own homes and we’re passionate about supporting people in these situations."

Acorn Stairlifts, based at the Millennium Business Park, has been manufacturing and installing stairlifts for more than 25 years and employs over 800 people in the UK.