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Notice – This funding award was made during the previous iteration of the Small Business Grants Competition which ran from 2016 to 2019. The format has since changed and monthly grant winners are now selected from members of the Small Business Pro community. See here for more details: The Small Business Grants initiative

The winner of the October 2018 British Small Business Grants competition is Reach and Rescue Ltd.

Based in Wigan, the firm is best-known for its Reach and Rescue pole. The pole is designed to keep users safe while rescuing casualties and can stretch up to 17 metres.

They’re used by over 80 per cent of the UK fire and rescue and emergency services and sold in 46 countries worldwide.

It’s not just for humans either: Reach and Rescue have supplied the RSPCA with a bespoke animal rescue to kit for each of their 550 volunteers.

Spending the grant

In June they launched the world’s first public access water rescue system: The Portsafe. The system consists of a Reach and Rescue pole which enables the public to perform a rescue while waiting for emergency services to arrive.

With the grant, the firm wants to market the Portsafe and ensure that one is situated by every lake, waterway and public water area both in the UK and globally. It also hopes to hire an apprentice to help with the launch as well as investing in a full marketing plan including events, exhibitions and digital marketing.

Jo Taylor is the director of Reach and Rescue. She says, ‘We want to get the legislation changed in the UK to ensure that such a public access, secure and easy-to-use rescue system is available throughout the UK. The grant will enable us to contact each and every Member of Parliament about the benefits of The Portsafe and eventually be able to save more lives.’

Rennie Schafer, British Small Business Grants judge and CEO of Self Storage Association UK, said, ‘This is a fabulous innovation to address a real need in the market. Uptake of their original product within their target market was incredible and I hope that this grant will help ensure similar success with the Portsafe product.’

Our Small Business Grants scheme is sponsored by WorldpaySalesforce, Opus Energy and Yell Business and Frontierpay. These partners are specialists in the small business sector and are focused on offering products and services tailored for SMEs.

We would also like to thank our partners,,  No Brainer, the Forum of Private Business, Angel Academe, Luxaviation UK, Caxton, The Self Storage Association and The Brew.

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