Tag Archives: CIC

CIC is back up and running!

CIC full 2 main

As you may be aware we have moved offices – in fact, we moved building, workshop, office and all of our kit. It took forever! We had enjoyed a top floor office in University of Wales TSD Swansea for the last 9 years, with a panoramic sea view and lots of space. But in line with the plans to re-house the School of Industrial Design in a newly renovated building in the city centre, we upped sticks and joined them.

Our new home is in part of the Old Swansea Central Library which has been renovated and sports a fantastic new glass atrium on the west elevation. You may have seen the building in one Dr Who episode where they filmed in the round reading room. The building looks fantastic now, and we have brand new state of the art machines in the workshops and a lovely new office (no sea view unfortunately).

CIC full main

That said, it took a while to move in! As with all building projects there were many unforeseen obstacles which led to delays. We packed up our things into boxes and crates, according to the schedule, in June but we were not able to move in until August in the end and the workshop was not commissioned until early November! So after a few homeless months and with no workshop we did get delayed in some of our work, and we have been fighting hard to pull back some of our deadlines. Thank you all so much for being patient with us!

The good news is that our phone works again!! Yes- you heard it, 3 months off thegrid, but we are connected again! Please call us on 01792 483688 if you have any requests for products or help that we might be able to offer.

We have many new products getting close to finishing; including fish tank enclosures to make fish tanks accessible to children, “Oxygem” our oxygen cylinder trolleys and the 20 writing slopes are close to completion- we had to order the parts from China to get these finished!

Daniel Shows off Weighted Cap

Daniel and his weighted cap

Daniel and his weighted cap

Daniel O’Connor has received a weighted cap specially made by Cerebra’s own Innovation Centre.

Weighted items can be very useful for children with sensory issues and conditions such as Autism as they can help them to feel grounded. This can help to increase a child’s concentration span which has clear benefits in a school setting.

The problem that many parents encounter is that weighted items are not always readily available or are unsuitable for their child’s specific needs.

That’s where the Cerebra Innovation Centre (CIC) comes in! The team recently created a weighted hat for nine year-old Daniel O’Connor who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in February 2014.

Daniel found it difficult to concentrate in class often becoming quite fidgety. He started using a weighted blanket which was given to him by one of his teaching assistants and would often put it on his head, saying that it “helped him concentrate”.

His mum Julie contacted Dr Ross Head at the CIC and explained the situation. It seemed that creating a weighted cap for Daniel was the best solution!

The team took one of Daniel’s own caps and stitched in a specially developed a rubber-like sheet material that is tough and flexible, yet dense enough for even the thinnest of layers to offer enough weight for the cap.

The cap has had a huge positive impact on Daniel’s life and he says that when he is wearing it, the hat helps him to concentrate, and he can think for longer.

Julie said: “I can’t thank Cerebra and Dr Ross Head enough, and as for Daniel, the cap looks a lot better on him than wearing a blanket on his head!”

Product Review: Safe and Sound Travel Pod

Safe and Sound Travel Pod

Safe and Sound Travel Pod

CIC bring you a review of the Creative Care Limited Safe and Sound Travel Pod, a portable safe sleeping area.

Over the years CIC have been asked many times for a solution to safe sleeping whilst travelling. Secure sleeping areas are readily available for permanent fixtures, and we have tried a few times to make something that would allow easy travel, perhaps sleeping over at Grandma’s house, going on holiday etc. But we have never succeeded in anything structurally sound enough that we would be happy to release. So when we came across the fantastic Creative Care Limited and their Safe and Sound Travel Pod we were over the moon that we can now direct people to the perfect solution to this problem!

Not only are Creative Care Limited a great, friendly and ethical company, they have an amazing product, beautifully made from quality materials and it is the best priced unit on the market. By designing and manufacturing in-house, and cutting out the middle men, Creative Care Limited are able to bring you this product for the best price possible.


It gets better: The Safe and Sound Travel Pod has also been designed by former aircraft engineer Tom, to be the smallest and most portable unit available! The unit weights 25kg in total and has been cleverly engineered to fold into 2 bags, both of which will fit width ways between the wheel arches of an average car – this was a vital criteria for Tom, as the unit is portable. Using an innovative camp bed arrangement they have also removed the bulky mattress which increases portability.

Some of the results of using the Creative Care Limited bed ranges are outstanding. Some children have been clinically proven to be able to reduce their sleep medication, and others have stopped using it completely and are getting their best night’s sleep in their lives – and so are their parents!!

The enclosures are shown to be so comfortable and comforting that kids are making the choice themselves to sleep inside to get some rest and get away from the bustle of family life for a bit of “me- time”.

A sale or return scheme is also available for those who would like a demonstration of the pods before purchase, with the only cost being for the postage.

Please feel free to visit: http://www.creativecareltd.co.uk/support/useful-contacts/ or call the Creative Care Limited team on 07585667248 or 07731793687 for more information and current pricing.

Raft Race to Raise Awareness

The raft being constructed

The CIC team building the raft

On Sunday 20th of July a team from children’s charity Cerebra will be taking to the waters of the river Towy to raise money for children with neurological conditions in the Carmarthen Raft Race.

Bran Bucca, Ben Jones, Jamie Pitman, Lee Herbert, Amy Jones and Amy Watler-Thomas from the charity’s fundraising department and Ross Head and Dan Cuthbertson from their Innovation Centre will be sailing on a raft put together by the Innovation team.

Cerebra’s Innovation Centre, based at the University of Wales Trinity St.David in Swansea, adapts and designs specialist equipment for families who wouldn’t normally be able to afford or even find what they need.

Some of the most successful designs of the CIC team in the past include trikes, writing slopes, trolley seats and, most recently, an adapted fish tank that meant a little boy with Down syndrome could safely watch his pet fish.

The Innovation Centre is just one of many services Cerebra provides, funded entirely by generous supporters. The charity also gives direct, ongoing help to families and funds important research into conditions.

The raft race will start at 12:45pm, with teams from all over competing as part of the annual river festival. Come along and support Cerebra – keep your fingers crossed for our team!

CIC News – June 2014

We catch up with the guys at the CIC and find out what they’ve been up to lately.

CIC have been busy designing and building products to help our young members and their families as usual! The requests for design challenges have been coming in steadily but there is always room for more! If there is anything we can help you with, please feel free to give us a call. Remember that we are here to help with anything product related, for example we could help source products, or if you have an idea for a solution that could help your child we should be able to design and make something…..and if you simply have a problem with no idea for a solution…those are the ones we love the best- give us a call or drop us a line and we will rise to the challenge!

Here are a few recent examples of products that we have been working on.

Weighted Capscic-cap
CIC helped with a couple of recent requests for weighted caps to help with Tourettes and Autism. The families kindly supplied hats that had been tried for size and were the correct style and brand (very important consideration for our young members!) and CIC used their carefully developed method of making very slim flexible weighted pads to fit into the hats. From the outside you would never know there is any difference in the hat, but the resultant behavioural changes appear to be fantastic!

“Hi Ross, just to let you know Jamie’s hats arrived yesterday. He is so happy with them. He wore his blue one in class today and he said it helps him concentrate. He is feeling a lot happier in himself. Thank you so much for taking the time to make them. Jamie will be sending you a card this week, thanks again D”

An extra tall baby-gate
This request was for a stylish gate that would enable Mum, Sinead, to know that her son is safe and well inside his room and so removing the risk of him getting to the stairs, whilst still being able to see each other through and decorated with Ben 10 images. As usual, the gate had to fit the style of the house and not have a negative impact on the environment or look too restrictive. We decided on a simple form with a curved top to break up the shape and then found some lovely images of Harvey’s favourite TV character.

“Hello I received the gate and it is wonderful I cannot thank you enough also Harvey loves it with the ben10 stickers thank you very much for your time and effort. I have made a donation to cerebra thank you again x S”

CIC writing clopeThe CIC Writing Slope
Something that we have been working very hard on recently is the design of our new writing slope. You may remember that we told you about one that we had made for a young lady last year, and from the response to that story we have now made another 30 units! The writing slope is made so that it can help children with writing and reading by helping to hold the paper and books steady and in a useful position. It has many innovative features such as: Adjustable angle controlled with a gas spring, a pen holder which negates the use of pen lids, magnetic reading and writing ledges and a carry handle.

Here is some of the feedback we have had so far:cic-writing-slope

“Thank you so much for Jack’s writing table, it is brilliant. I will get a donation sent to you and also a photo!”

“I am so very grateful for the beautifully crafted writing slope that arrived for Sim this morning! He is going to be incredibly excited when he gets home from school! Sim is 5 and a half and has Down’s Syndrome. He finds it very difficult to read books or try and draw/write when paper is placed directly on the table and we have been searching for a slope that enables him to do this, but have never managed to find one that hasn’t got a big lip, sits too close to the table, etc. The one you have made is absolutely fantastic and will be PERFECT! I love the attention to detail! The carry handle, the magnetic strips, the plastic tabs to keep books open, the pen slots, etc. Please do thank the team for all the hard work that has gone in to producing this for him. We really are immensely grateful.”

If this is of interest to you, please give us a call on 01792 483688 to discuss your requirements!

Tom’s Playring

Tom and his playring

Tom and his playring

Tom’s mum sent us a great picture of the Playring thanks to Cerebra.

The charity provided a Playring for Tom from the toy library, as well as helping them with a GoToSeat.

As you can see in their pictures, Tom loves both. He has developmental delay, but the Playring and GoToSeat help him sit up and take part in his physio to aid his development.

It also means he can join the family and enjoy shopping trips.

“He loves being in the trolley,” his mum Laura told us. “We’re so grateful to the charity.”

The GoToSeat was developed by Leckey and our Cerebra Innovation Centre. Take a look around our website to learn more.

Don’t forget that Cerebra receives no government funding – all of this is thanks to your support!

Sophie’s Bouncer

Sophie in her bouncerThe Cerebra Innovation Centre (CIC) have recently made a bouncer for a young lady called Sophie.

The bouncer allows Sophie to stand unaided and to bounce and play without her mum, Mimi, holding her. Mimi wrote these kind words:

“Thank you for your work! I was very glad to receive the bouncer. I set it up following the instructions and it works very well. I haven’t seen my daughter’s smile for long time. This is a relief for our stressed life!”

We have one spare bouncer, if you think it would be useful for your child, please drop us a line for more details at cic@cererba.org.uk.

GoTo Seat is a hit

Cerebra bear and the Goto seatSales of the brilliant GoTo seat are raising money for Cerebra.

We have kept you up to date with the development of one of our Innovation Centre’s design exploits – the joint venture between Leckey and ourselves to develop the Goto Seat.

Because the original design idea was ours we have a contract with Leckey called a Licensing Agreement. This means that every time they sell a Goto Seat they pay Cerebra a royalty fee to support the work we do and enable us to help more children and to develop even more innovative products.

The first quarterly sales figures are in and Cerebra have received £1192 in royalties! We are delighted and would like to thank everyone at Leckey for all their hard work developing our idea into such a successful product.

Sales of the the GoTo seat have continued to grow with the launch of the new size 2 seat which is suitable for children between 2 and 5 years of age. It offers an adjustable headrest, extended leg supports and a stronger backrest making it supportive enough for mild to moderate postural needs.

Cerebra Ambassador Chris Bennett and his son Elliott have been using the GoTo seat at dinner time instead of a high chair and told us “It’s brilliant – it makes dinner time more of a family thing as he’s closer to us and can eat from the table”.

We look forward to designing more products to add to the list and will keep you informed of all of our future developments!

Cerebra’s Oxi-Gem

Plans for the oxy-gemCerebra’s Innovation Centre has started 2014 with great plans and lots of new projects in the making.

Thanks to all of your great requests, we have lots of design work to do and have got stuck in already! This is the design for the new oxygen trolley for young children, the CIC Oxi-Gem.

We have designed it to include a fold-out handle, a seat for taking a rest and front wheel steering with lovely free running bearings to make easy work of pulling a 4kg oxygen cylinder. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like to register interest in this great product.

This is just one of many products being adapted and designed by the Innovation Centre, funded entirely by donations. If you need anything from us please don’t hesitate to get in touch – head over to the CIC page on our website for more!

Cerebra and Leckey’s GoTo Seat

LECKEYS.mov.Still021Cerebra have teamed up with James Leckey Design to develop and design a new and exciting lightweight portable postural support seat for Special Needs children under the Firefly brand.

The GoTo Seat is special for Leckey Design because it is the company’s first Firefly product. The new Firefly brand has been designed to operate alongside Leckey Design, offering innovative and affordable products for children and families to learn, participate, interact and grow together.

The Firefly brand is all about making a difference and supporting everyday family participation for special needs kids; bringing normality to the lives of little ones and their families.

The Firefly GoTo Seat is a lightweight, portable seating solution that can be used with children who need additional postural support and stability. At just 1.4kg, with a five-point harness and washable covers, this seating solution will allow children to participate in everyday family life whether it’s eating at a restaurant, sitting in a shopping trolley or playing on the swings in a play park or at home.

There are 3 fun colours to choose from; blue, green and pink and the GoTo Seat will come in 2 sizes with size 2 launching in the New Year. 7% of every GoTo Seat sale will go to supporting Cerebra’s amazing work.

Speaking about the GoTo Seat, one really happy mum, Kate Mellor, said; “Absolutely fantastic product! The GoTo Seat is so easy to use and has allowed us to bring Jake shopping with us anytime we want! It really has changed the way Jake can interact with people around him! His posture is excellent in the GoTo Seat”.

The new website, www.fireflyfriends.com, will launch early December and will have a fantastic special needs blog for parents, carers and healthcare professionals to share their stories, insights and thoughts to inspire each other.