Business booming for Blackwood award winner following worldwide success
The designer of a pioneering spoon which allows people with disabilities to eat without spilling has paid tribute to housing care and housing provider Blackwood for the honour which propelled his invention into worldwide success.
Grant Douglas, who has cerebral palsy, won the Blackwood Design Award in 2015 for his S’up spoon – an innovative design which uses a ‘lid’ to ensure its contents don’t spill.
The 43-year-old, from Edinburgh, had his eureka moment after years of struggle when he tried to eat cereal or soup and has not looked back since entering the Blackwood competition.
S’up products now has its own website and sells around the world, while Grant was awarded an MBE in the 2018 New Year honours list.
Grant said: “We really do owe a lot to Blackwood Design Awards. We entered as we share Blackwood’s aim to enable people with disabilities to live as independently as possible.
“It helped us get noticed and being recognised with such a prestigious Award gives that added credibility to the product and shows that people really believe in it.
“The advice and guidance we have since received, gives the S’up a far better chance of being accepted as a standard piece of adapted cutlery for people with disabilities by health bodies.”
First launched in 2013, the Blackwood Design Awards have grown every year since to become an annual contest which attracts designs from all over the world.
The competition aims to discover and champion brilliant new ideas and products with the potential to help people live independently.
The S’up spoon uses a deep cavity to stop food from spilling over the edge and is helpful for anyone who shakes, as well as blind and partially sighted people.
Grant added: “I remember the day I had the idea really clearly. I was just about to get up and have breakfast and thought that I needed a spoon with a lid on it.
“Eating is a fundamental part of life. You can’t survive without eating but now the S’up spoon allows people more choice about what they can eat, so they can have a more enriched life.”
The Blackwood Design Awards are open to all, and entries can come from either groups or individuals, with a university academic as likely to win as a talented amateur.
There are four categories of award; Best Collaborative Project by a University or Institute of Higher Learning, Best New Concept, Best New Accessible Technology and Best New Aids and Equipment.
Entries should be submitted no later than 12 noon on Friday, March 30, and entrants will be notified that their submission has been received. Contact Paul Richoux for full details on how to enter – PaulR@blackwoodgroup.org.uk.
Past winners have included the Mountain Trike, an eye controlled wheelchair, however, winners are chosen on what has the biggest impact on people’s independence, not what uses the most technology.