Belfast Telegraph

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Firm wants inventors to hatch new ideas

By Lesley-Anne McKeown

Published 10/04/2015

Changing lives: James Leckey, who made the Upsee
Changing lives: James Leckey, who made the Upsee

Parents who modify everyday products for children with special needs could see their inventions on sale worldwide, it has been claimed.

Leckey and Firefly, the Northern Ireland-based company behind the Upsee and GoTo Seat, want families to collaborate with professional designers through its new website, Hatch.

Chief executive James Leckey said: 'Hatch is where creativity meets the real life challenges of special needs families. If the right idea comes along, we will try to make it a reality."

The Upsee, a walking harness invented by mother Debby Elnatan for her son who has cerebral palsy, is now sold in more than 100 countries.

The GoTo Seat, developed with charity Cerebra, is also helping transform the lives of severely disabled youngsters.

Mr Leckey said: "We receive ideas for new products on a daily basis from a wide range of people including therapists, parents and designers. These ideas show remarkable creativity and skill.

"Hatch will give us the structure needed to properly review these product ideas."

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