Christmas is a time for joy and for making dreams come true. At our Innovation Centre we believe that all children can achieve their dreams, however big or small. This Christmas we are celebrating twelve fabulous ways our Innovation Centre have made dreams come true this year:
The CIC team recently tested their new surfing products at Poppit Sands in Pembrokeshire.
The team has developed a Tandem Surf Board and a Surf Access Vehicle (SAV) for use by surfers who could not use conventional surfing equipment so easily. In collaboration with Tonic Surf Therapy and Walkin’ on Water Surf School, the CIC team developed the SAV to help transport people from the car park across rugged terrain (sand dunes and rocks) down to the water’s edge to plunge straight into the sea. Once in around 50cm of water it is much easier to transfer onto a surfboard.
The unique design of the SAV was developed with a UWTSD graduate Automotive Designer Ben Hammonds. It features a reclining back so that a surfboard can fit onto the device and to made transfers easier as the surfer can slide straight off the back.
Many thanks to Shon Devey (Tonic Surf Therapy) and Kwame Salam (Walkin’ on Water Surf School) for their help in the development and to Tina Marie Evans for thoroughly testing the equipment!
You can see a video of the team testing out the equipment below:
The Cerebra Innovation Centre were recently contacted by Nicola, the mother of four year-old Cole.
Young Cole suffers from Tuberous Sclerosis – a rare genetic condition that can cause benign tumours to grow all over his body, as well as Epilepsy and Autism. He also has behaviour and communication difficulties.
Cole has a baby sister, 9 month old Myla whom he loves her dearly, but his sensory issues mean that he likes to hear her cry, often meaning that he can get overly excited and lashes out at her.
Mum Nicola told us: “This is bad enough in the house as Myla can at least be kept out of Cole’s way but in the car, even with a harness, he still managed to get to her. I would only take the kids out together to places that were close by and where I could distract Cole with food. Even then driving was stressful and I often had to pull over to stop him getting to her. It was dangerous because I was constantly worrying about what he was doing and so didn’t have full concentration on the road.”
After trying various different solutions from harnesses to dog guards with little success, Nicola contacted the Cerebra Innovation Centre to see if the team could develop a new solution to keep everyone safe whilst out and about in the car. The team came up with the safety gate.
“The Safety Gate is fantastic! It looks great and even looks like it is part of the car. It has a window and little holes so Myla and Cole can still see each other. Cole loves it – I think it makes him feel secure as he likes small spaces but the best thing is that I can drive without worrying because I know my daughter is safe. We can now go further afield in the car together and it has made everyday life so much easier. I can’t thank the Innovation Centre team enough. It has changed our lives.”
The Cerebra Innovation Centre are always eager to hear from parents with their ideas for new products and that’s where you come in! If you have an idea for a product that you can’t find anywhere else or need a product adapted to meet your child’s needs, then get in touch! You can contact the team at [email protected] or 01792 483688.
A new website called Hatch has been launched to provide a platform between parents of children with additional needs and professional product designers.
Hatch was created in conjunction between Leckey and Firefly who have previously worked with Cerebra to manufacture our GoTo Seat.
The idea of the site is to allow people to submit their ideas for special needs products like the GoTo seat that could be life changing for children around the world.
The platform is quick and easy and allows the public to vote on their favourite submissions. The most popular ideas then go through a review process by a panel of experts including Design Engineers, Therapists and Parents working with Leckey and Firefly.
James Leckey, CEO said, “We’ve learnt from experience that we’re better together. We receive ideas for new products on a daily basis from a wide range of people including therapists, parents and designers.
These ideas show remarkable creativity and skill. Hatch will give us the structure needed to properly review these product ideas, but more importantly find out from the special needs community which of them will change lives.
Hatch is where creativity meets the real life challenges of special needs families. If the right idea comes along – we will try to make it a reality.”
Hatch will make sure that the new products and equipment, most needed by children with special needs will be available for sale as soon as possible.
Claire Smyth, whose 6 year old son Daniel is profoundly disabled, is excited about the arrival of Hatch.
Claire said, “As parents we’re already modifying existing products to suit our own child’s needs, when in fact many other families might also benefit from these adaptions. Finally we have a voice and an opportunity to influence the type of equipment available to our children. I know many parents will be excited by Hatch and will have many life changing ideas that can make a real difference to kids with special needs across the world.”
The Hatch website is online and now accepting registrations and ideas from all over the world.
To get involved or learn more, visit www.hatchthatidea.com