Blue Badge Company, a manufacturing business that produces stylish but practical living aids and recently featured on BBC’s Dragons’ Den has recruited a new staff member to its growing team.
Yvonne Bowman, has joined Blue Badge Company’s production team, helping make the colourful Blue Badge display wallets, walking stick bags, lap trays and other products which have proved so popular.
Yvonne’s appointment brings the total number of staff at Blue Badge Company to 21, up from one just one two years ago.
It comes after a busy summer which saw a flood of two months’ worth of orders in just 24 hours after company director Ellen Green’s appearance on Dragons’ Den and a £30,000 investment from Funding Circle.
Nearly half – 40 per cent – of Blue Badge Company’s staff are registered disabled or primary care givers and the business has committed to maintain this proportion as it grows.
Yvonne, 47, from Shipham, near Cheddar, is profoundly deaf and registered disabled after being struck by a rare autoimmune disease called Cogan’s Syndrome in 1993.
She struggled to find permanent work for a number of years and took up a variety of voluntary and short term roles before finding an organisation called Pluss, which helps people with disabilities to find work and put her in touch with Blue Badge Company.
She is helping drive Blue Badge Company’s continued growth after a recent deal to stock Argos online. The business also supplies products to Halfords, Boots and the Post Office.
Yvonne said: “Working with Blue Badge has given me newfound confidence in working with people again after years of being out of touch, as well as providing my family home with extra income, meaning I can contribute towards things just as my husband, who has normal hearing, does.”
Ellen Green, director at the Blue Badge Company, said: “Being able to employ people who are disabled is as much a part of the direction of this business as the products we make and sell.
“Being disabled is in no way a barrier to work and Yvonne is a great example of a hard working person, who, through no fault of her own, has faced challenges that able bodied people do not experience when trying to secure work.
“The response and reaction to Dragons’ Den – apart from receiving two months’ orders in 24 hours – has enabled us to accelerate our fast growth programme and Yvonne’s appointment is another milestone following a busy 2015.”