Influential women shortlisted for Inclusive Innovation Award

Nine inclusive champions in the running for recognition at prestigious ceremony in Manchester.
Participants at last year's Northern Power Women Awards ceremony

Influential female role models helping to make society more equitable, better connected or healthier are in the running for an Inclusive Innovation award to be presented at a prestigious ceremony in the north of England in less than two weeks.  

Nine finalists have been shortlisted for the award, which is sponsored by Connected Places Catapult and will be announced as part of the Northern Power Women Awards at Manchester Central on 18 March. 

To mark International Women’s Day on 8 March, Connected Places Catapult is shining a spotlight on those shortlisted. 

Finalists include Adaptive Clothing UK, whose founder has designed fun, sensory and accessible clothing for babies and children with sensory and physical limitations. The range enables individuals to be dressed more easily and with less discomfort; the soft fabric garments feature flat lock seams, no washing labels and have strategically placed openings to allow easier dressing and independence. 

Smart Works Newcastle is a North East charity that empowers all women who need help getting into work. Using the power of high-quality clothing and one-to-one coaching to help unemployed women fulfil their potential, get the job, and transform their lives. 69% get the job within a month of a visit to Smart Works Newcastle. 

Individuals with long term health conditions or disabilities are supported by The Empowerment Passport; a web application that helps them create a ‘summary of reasonable adjustments’ to share with an education provider or prospective employer about their health needs, and suggest ways they could be supported. 

Active Families helps to boost participation in physical activities to improve health and wellbeing, reduce isolation and support older persons within local communities throughout the North East. The initiative has engaged with over 25,000 individuals and uses a vehicle called the ‘Well Bean Machine’ to reach local people. 

Tailored Leisure unlocks barriers to fitness, leisure and wellbeing through inclusive innovation programmes designed by disabled people, including ‘sit to be fit’ and ‘wheelie weigh-in’, plus short break holidays and improving accessibility to employability through a support programme and access audit review to local and national venues. A total of 4500 people have been helped to date. 

DanceSyndrome transforms lives, creating change and opportunities for people with and without learning disabilities through community workshops, leadership training, professional development opportunities and performances. Participants report feeling better about the future, increasing their friendship circle, and are able to lead more independent lives. 

Retailer the Co-Op has introduced an online platform called the Endless Inclusion Hub to help local businesses it works alongside in the North West to accelerate progress with equality, diversity and inclusion initiatives. 

People from under-represented communities in Greater Manchester are being given more opportunities to take part in research to reduce health inequalities, through an initiative led by the National Institute for Health and Care Research. One aspect of its work involves tackling diseases prevalent among certain ethnic groups. 

DefProc Engineering has developed a digital healthcare product called SmUPS – or Smart Uninterruptible Power Supply – to provide a reliable connection for patients with long term conditions recovering at home, and their health provider. The device ensures security of power to homes susceptible to power loss. 

I’m thrilled that we are supporting the Inclusive Innovation Award again this year. True innovation thrives on diversity. When we empower women and embrace different perspectives, we unlock creativity and problem-solving potential that benefits everyone. This award celebrates that and will inspire people to break down barriers and build a stronger, more inclusive future. Seeing the shortlisted stories and working with Northern Power Women is truly inspiring. 
Connected Places Catapult’s Chief People Officer, Faye Stevenson
It is fantastic to be partnering with Connected Places Catapult for the second year in a row. Their commitment to and championing of inclusive innovation ensures that we are able to unearth the people and organisations who are at the forefront of creating a better and more accessible world. These role models will go on to inspire others to embed inclusive practices in their innovations; having a positive ripple effect regionally, nationally and globally. 
Simone Roche MBE, Chief Executive and Founder of Northern Power Women