2011 shortlisted applicants

The other finalist from 2011 was:

Ben Wolfenden

Ben Wolfenden, 28, who has cystic fibrosis, runs Equestrian Outfitters, an online retailer of equestrian products; from jodhpurs and riding boots to horse rugs and tack.

He said: ‘My cystic fibrosis affects every organ in my body, particularly my lungs. Starting my own business has meant that I don’t have to fit my work around my health – I have realised that the two can work in conjunction.

‘Despite setbacks and difficulties I work tirelessly for myself and future family. My fiance and I are getting married next year and I want to make sure I keep healthy to stay alive for her and also our future children.’

Other shortlisted applicants from 2011

Andrew Slorance, I Imagine Ltd

Carbon Black is a significant advance in manual wheelchair design, aimed at the active independent user and advancing a product that has evolved very little in the last 25 years. Carbon Black benefits from being designed by a wheelchair user for wheelchair users. 

Geoffrey Tunstall, Borders Social Entreprise Ltd

Borders Social Enterprise Ltd has facilitated the development of two quite disparate businesses, albeit with common social objectives; that of creating jobs and training opportunities for people who may find it hard to access mainstream employment, and a bicycle recycling initiative. The concept of REbike Cumbria Ltd is simple; we recycle and service unwanted bicycles. They are sold to families on low income, people looking for cheap transport to work or families that have a strong recycling ethos. In our first year of trading we have sold over 900 bicycles, helped 7 people into paid employment and provide volunteering opportunities for 16 adults. 

John Charles, Catering2order Ltd

Catering2order is a multi-award winning contract catering company that provides a range of innovative and mouthwatering catering solutions. Our company is also a leading social enterprise, with the majority of our staff having either a disability or coming from disadvantaged groups of the local community. Catering2order realises it’s social mission of providing employment and training opportunities for those with disabilities through our own commercial endeavours. 

Joseph Waggott, Metal Polishing Supplies UK Ltd 

From small beginnings, Metal Polishing Supplies UK Ltd has become a leading supplier of metal polishing kits and related accessories. Over the years we have developed a client base of thousands of satisfied customers from around the world, including the UK, France, Portugal, and as far away as Australia. We currently trade on eBay UK, where we are the leading supplier of our products, as well as on our own website. 

Mike Hopkins, The Stable Company

We are a Community Interest Company working with volunteers from all areas of the community, many of whom are physically disabled, have learning difficulties or are vulnerable. Our vegetable box scheme allows us to grow or source local vegetables and deliver them straight to the door. Our work is also linked to local schools, providing educational support and projects which link growing to the curriculum. 

Rob Smith, The Active Hands Company Ltd

Our business designs, manufactures and sells gripping aids to people with poor hand function due to many types of disability. Our products help users grip items such as gym equipment, DIY/gardening tools, entertainment devices, and much more. We also provide a bespoke design and manufacture service. Our aids have been filmed in use on Channel 4’s Incredible Athletes (Paralympic athletes documentary) and BBC1’s Harry’s Arctic Heroes (following injured servicemen conquer the North Pole). 

Robin Kettle, Ableize

Ableize is a comprehensive Internet based directory that I built to offer information to people with disabilities and health issues. After much work the directory is now one of the most viewed disability and mobility resources in the UK and Europe. Unique hits to Ableize per month average 40,000, the site is ranked 7/10 by Google and it has more than 100,000 external links that mention Ableize within other websites. I also have an Ableize blog and discussion forum that offers advertising and drives traffic to the directory. 

Rolf Thomas, Medical Device Development Ltd

We sell our services to clients who are seeking to commercialise a product, which is usually, but not exclusively, a Medical Device. This involves some of the following processes: developing the concept and helping to identify and secure intellectual property; building a working prototype in order to prove the clinical concept; helping the client to raise investments; and providing designs for clinical trial and high volume manufacture. I have a strong desire to see my clients become successful and strive far beyond the call of duty to ensure that they get the best support and advice whenever possible. 

Susan Greenwood, Destiny Enterprise Solutions CIC

Destiny Enterprise Solutions is a community-based social enterprise that helps disabled and disadvantaged people become self-employed or start their own enterprise. Working with the entrepreneurial talent and potential in marginalised sections of society, we enable them to thrive in the mainstream marketplace. We work towards empowering them to believe their innovative ideas can become reality, whilst checking viability and sustainability, thereby opening up new horizons. Destiny advances the quality of life of disabled and disadvantaged people, strengthens communities, aids economic regeneration and reduces the burden on the public purse. 

Victoria Lee, Glitter Beach Ltd

‘Delivering Dignity through Fashion’ is our motto. We design swimwear and beachwear for Ostomy patients, which can also be worn by the public. I am currently producing our menswear, beach wedding and underwear ranges, and have designed a revolutionary new hypoallergenic stoma bag, which I am developing with Dundee University and a medical company. There are 150,000 Ostomy patients in this country and numbers are rising at 15% per annum. Currently these patients are denied the basic human right of walking into a department store to buy underwear and swimwear, Glitter Beach will change this and restore patients’ dignity. We also act as a support and educational tool through the Glitter Beach Foundation, by setting up a buddy system and aiding research into Crohns Disease.