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Designability welcomes HRH The Earl of Wessex to our 50th Anniversary Celebration

Prince Edward crouching down to speak to two children and their mum

Designability celebrated their 50th Anniversary with a party attended by HRH The Earl of Wessex at Bath Hilton Hotel on the 11th July 2018 .

The 50th celebration at the Hilton Hotel was attended by 100 staff, supporters and beneficiaries

The guests were able to view a range of products including items that can help people living with dementia which are on display at the RUH Memory Technology Gallery.  Staff showcased prototypes of new products, such as a Dynamic Seating System to help comfortably seat young children living with cerebral palsy and the Audre trolley, a great example of how practical products can also be beautiful.

The Designability research team demonstrated a ground breaking virtual reality project. This joint project with the Centre for Digital Entertainment at the University of Bath supports the rehabilitation of people with brain injuries.  There was also an appearance from the Pepper robot, which is part of the collaborative research programme with the Bristol Robotics Laboratory at the University of the West of England.

The star of the show, as always was Designability’s flagship product, Wizzybug.  Three disabled children attended the celebration in their Wizzybugs, a powered wheelchair for the under 5s.  Since 2011, 550 disabled children have received a free loan of a Wizzybug across the UK, enabling them to experience independent mobility for the first time, funded by our generous supporters.

Ali Vowles from BBC Points West was on hand to interview past members of staff, Wizzybug families and our Chief Executive, Nigel Harris, who announced exciting plans for the development of facilities for new design studios and workshops, which will enable Designability to help even more people over the next 50 years.

Listen again here.

In his speech, the HRH The Earl of Wessex reflected on the work that had been carried out and highlighted the impact that the Charity had made on the lives of so many people over the last 50 years.  He was pleased to receive a specially commissioned version of the Designability Simple Music Player.

Councillor Dr Anthony Clarke, Deputy Mayor of Bath and Annie Maw, Lord Lieutenant of Somerset and Mrs Dierdre Horstmann, the wife of one of the founders of the Charity were amongst the distinguished guests who were able to see some of the life-changing products, which have enhanced the lives of over 250,000 people over the years.

Designability is preparing for the next 50 years

The Designability 50th Appeal seeks to raise £750,000 to fit out the workshops and to employ new engineers and designers to ensure that our new home operates at capacity from the outset.   To launch the appeal, we’re looking for 50 people who, during our 50th Anniversary Year, will each pledge to raise £5000 to raise £250,000 towards this. They will join an exclusive supporters club, “The 50/50 Founders“.

Nigel Harris, CEO Designability said “What an amazing afternoon! It was wonderful to see our staff, supporters and beneficiaries come together to celebrate Designability’s 50 years.

“We were pleased that so many supporters, partners and distinguished guests were able to join in the celebrations”