Sir Stelios broadcasts winners of the sixteenth yr of the Disabled Entrepreneur Awards

Jul 9, 2024 | blog

Leading incapacity charity Leonard Cheshire and Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou have unveiled the winners of the Stelios Awards for Disabled Entrepreneurs 2024 in a ceremony hosted by the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation in central London.

The awards, now of their sixteenth yr, provide a grand complete of £200,000 in prizes to a few disabled entrepreneurs within the UK who’ve established their very own companies and excelled of their chosen fields.

This yr’s general winner is Cedric Bloch, CEO of Brigit’s Bakery, famend for its iconic afternoon tea London sightseeing bus excursions and Covent Garden bakery. After sustaining a spinal harm in 2021 that left him paralysed from the chest down, Cedric’s resilience has pushed him to proceed rising his enterprise. He has launched the primary wheelchair-friendly sightseeing bus to the fleet and plans to make use of the prize cash to additional improve experiences for disabled folks, together with creating the primary electric-powered Sixties Routemaster bus.

Cedric Bloch expressed his gratitude: “I feel truly blessed to win this award. Being disabled, we are used to dealing with challenges and difficulties. This prize will help me future-proof the business, solidifying the company’s position and guaranteeing jobs for the long term.”

Second place winner Amelia Peckham based Cool Crutches after a quad bike accident in 2005 left her reliant on mobility aids as a consequence of a spinal harm. Frustrated by uncomfortable hospital-issued crutches, Amelia and her mom developed a line of comfy, vibrant, and customisable crutches and strolling sticks. Amelia plans to make use of the £60,000 prize cash to increase into new markets and make their merchandise extra accessible.

Amelia Peckham highlighted the significance of the award: “To win this award is a serious career highlight. These awards celebrate all the incredible value disabled people bring to business and challenge outdated stigmas in the best way.”

Third prize went to Debra Cartlidge, founding father of the School of Sign Language & The White House Deaf Specialist. Despite being informed she would by no means quantity to something, Debra labored a number of jobs, discovered signal language, and pursued training whereas elevating a household. Her School of Sign Language helps the deaf group, and she or he plans to make use of the £40,000 prize to develop a Deaf College for post-16 training.

Debra Cartlidge shared her mission: “Winning this award is not just a personal achievement, but also a testament to the incredible journey my amazing staff team have been on together! We will continue to inspire and empower others to believe in their dreams and strive for a more inclusive future.”

Since the awards started in 2006, a complete of £1,500,000 (together with this yr’s sum) has been donated by Sir Stelios and his basis to recognise the distinctive achievements of disabled entrepreneurs.

Sir Stelios, creator and proprietor of the simple household of manufacturers, commented: “We’re proud to honour Cedric, Amelia, and Debra today. These are three stand-out examples of how disabled entrepreneurs are blazing the trail for others and inspiring more disabled people to start their own businesses.”

The Stelios Philanthropic Foundation can be donating £20,000 to Leonard Cheshire to assist the working of this yr’s awards.

Ruth Owen, Chief Executive of Leonard Cheshire, added: “We are committed to making sure that we not only recognise but celebrate the voices and achievements of disabled individuals. This year’s applicants have shown remarkable business skills and unwavering resilience, reflecting a thriving community of disabled entrepreneurs in the UK.”

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