Scot with CP wins design award with a spoon that doesn’t spill

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Mark Penver and Grant Douglas

Grant Douglas teamed up with a local designer to create a spoon that could revolutionise mealtimes for people with shaky hands

Paul Cardwell's photo

21st January 2016 by Paul Cardwell 0 Comments

A Scot with cerebral palsy has won a design competition run by a Scottish housing and care provider after creating a spoon which could revolutionise how people with conditions that cause shaky hands eat.

Blackwood Homes Care and Support Design Awards showcased designs from around the world but a panel of expert judges chose the remarkable S’up Spoon (pictured) as the winner.

Designed by computer science graduate Grant Douglas, who lives in Edinburgh, and industrial designer Mark Penver, who is based in Glasgow and works at 4c Design, the spoon reduces spillage and is designed to help those with shaky hands, such as people with CP and Parkinsons.

It differs from standard cutlery as it has a deeper cavity which partially extends into the handle allowing it to contain food and liquids more securely.

The ergonomic utensil also features a high arch in the handle and a concave dip in the top to alleviate any difficulties in lifting it from surfaces and maintaining grip allowing those with disabilities greater freedom to eat independently.

Judges were also impressed that the innovative spoon’s sleek contoured design and matte black finish also ensure that the product will not be perceived as an assistive device.

Mark and Grant will now receive a cash prize of £1000 as well as invaluable legal advice on issues such as patenting and trademarks, professional service support from Blackwood and its’ partners.

Speaking afterwards Grant, who has cerebral palsy, explained how the spoon, came about. He said: “One morning, my Mum was called away when she was feeding me, and this is when I had the lightbulb moment that I needed a spoon with a lid on it. A friend put me in touch with 4c Design and that was the real start of the S’up Spoon journey.

We entered Blackwood’s Design Awards as we share its aim to enable disabled people to live as independently as possible through designing accessible products in a way that is pleasing to the eye

“Within days of receiving the first prototype spoon, I had a whole bowl of soup independently and went out for a Chinese and had two portions of rice, which was a first for me. So it is also effective in that it can be taken to restaurants without people staring and wondering what it is.

“We entered Blackwood’s Design Awards as we share its aim to enable disabled people to live as independently as possible through designing accessible products in a way that is pleasing to the eye.

“We are overwhelmed to have won and so grateful to Blackwood and the panel for choosing our design. The advice and guidance we will now receive will mean there is a far greater chance of getting the spoon as a standard piece of adapted cutlery which is considered when disabled people are assessed by allied health professionals.”

The competition took place at Blackwood’s tech-care inspired office at Dundee Street, Edinburgh, with competitors located as far away as Canada and Pakistan pitching via Skype to land the top prize.

Volunteer judges from various care, private and public sector organisations provided contestants with direct feedback on the day and critique over the live stream feed.

“We were blown away by some of the entries and it was extremely difficult to choose just one, but Grant and Mark’s S'up spoon is incredibly innovative and provides people with shaky hands the opportunity to eat independently with minimal spillage,” said Fanchea Kelly, chief executive at Blackwood.

“We hope with our backing and the backing from our partners, that the design will go on to help many people and improve their quality of living.

“We would also like to wish all the runners up the best of luck and much continued success in their design endeavours.”

The S'up Spoon is currently available for purchase at sup-products.com.

The S'up Spoon is currently available for purchase at www.sup-products.com