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Bristolian flies high to win Stelios Award 2018

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Bristolian flies high to win Stelios Award 2018

14th November 2018

easyjet founder, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou has chosen Able Move, a start-up company that has created a portable solution for disabled travellers, as winner of the Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs 2018, in partnership with Leonard Cheshire.

At a ceremony in London, Able Move's founder, Josh Wintersgill, a cyber-security manager from Bristol, was awarded the prestigious £30,000 prize by Sir Stelios.

Josh says he created the "Able-Move" sling, so people with reduced mobility can transferred safely, comfortably and with dignity to and from aeroplane seats.

Josh, who has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, says he faces many physical challenges himself, but is determined to help disabled people overcome the difficulties associated with travel.

On being chosen by Sir Stelios, Josh said:
"I'm overwhelmed with emotion. It's a credit to the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation and Leonard Cheshire for making this happen each year. Able Move now has the best possible start to its mission of improving accessible air travel for people with reduced mobility."

CEO of Leonard Cheshire, Neil Heslop said:
"Congratulations to Josh and indeed to all this year's candidates. The record number of applications proves how much passion, talent and innovation lies in the disabled community around the UK.

"Whilst many are following their dreams, it's also important to recognise that some disabled people pursue the entrepreneurial route not only because they have great ideas, but also because they face significant barriers to employment. As well as inspiring others, these awards remind us that there are different ways of working, and show employers the talent they are missing."

Sir Stelios said:
"I am delighted for Josh and Ablemove being the overall winner this year. I think his invention can help many people travel with more dignity and comfort. I wish him the best of luck as he will trying to scale up his business to serve the 1.3 million passengers of reduced mobility travelling in and out of the UK each year and many more all over the world!"

The award, jointly run by the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation and Leonard Cheshire, started 12 years ago. It recognises the achievements of disabled entrepreneurs in the UK.

Applications came from a diverse mix of sectors, including fashion, retail, sport and leisure and tourism. A record number of candidates applied, up 12.5% from last year.

Josh won from a short list of five who each received £10,000. These were:

Images


Bristolian flies high to win Stelios Award 2018

Sir Stelios congratulates Josh Wintersgill as the overall award winner

Bristolian flies high to win Stelios Award 2018

Sir Stelios with Josh Wintersgill and his associates

Bristolian flies high to win Stelios Award 2018

Sir Stelios opens the Award ceremony

Bristolian flies high to win Stelios Award 2018

Sir Stelios and the attendees.

Bristolian flies high to win Stelios Award 2018

Sir Stelios and the attendees.

Bristolian flies high to win Stelios Award 2018

Sally Davis, Chair of Trustees Leonard Cheshire

 

For further information, interview requests and interviews, please contact: Jonathan Sim on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 020 3242 0313. Out of hours contact 07845 773 370

For information or interviews with Sir Stelios please email Richard Shackleton on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 07905 779 799. Alternatively, email Tracy Ghori on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 07900 606 557.


Notes for editors:

The Stelios Awards for Disabled Entrepreneurs was started in 2006, with the aim to showcase the unique talents and business skills in the disabled community.

Last year's winner was Hannah Chamberlain, co-founder of wellbeing app www.mentalsnapp.com

  • Past winners have been drawn from the travel agency, building and IT sectors as well as businesses specialising in disability and mobility aids and services. For more information go to www.leonardcheshire.org/stelios
  • Leonard Cheshire support individuals to live, learn and work as independently as they choose, whatever their ability. Led by people with experience of disability, we are at the heart of local life — opening doors to opportunity, choice and support in communities around the globe. www.leonardcheshire.org
  • The Stelios Philanthropic Foundation is a registered charity in both Monaco and the UK which backs several charitable initiatives in the UK, Greece and Cyprus. The Foundation gives support in four main areas: scholarships, supporting entrepreneurship with cash prizes, donating money to environmental and other charities and operating a poverty relief programme in Greece and Cyprus — 'Food from the heart'.
  • Sir Stelios also joins the group of philanthropists led by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet who pledge to give most of their wealth to charity. Giving Pledge was started in 2010, and now has 168 signatories from 21 countries. Sir Stelios is the first Greek/Cypriot and the first resident of Monaco to join.
 

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