Young Designers Across The Globe Compete For Coveted Award In The Capital

by Ross Stebbing

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Award winning PR agency shares the news of care client’s innovative design competition

Blackwood, client at award winning PR agency Holyrood PROne of Scotland’s leading providers of housing and care is set to host a “Dragons Den” inspired event to find the next rising star of design.

The Blackwood Student Design Competition discovers, and champions, new and innovative ideas which aim to improve standards of living for those with physical or mental disabilities, and has seen its previous winners go on to achieve a great deal of success.

This year, the competition will take place on Friday 13th February at Blackwood’s brand new tech-care inspired office at Dundee Street, Edinburgh.

The winner will receive a cash prize of £500 and invaluable backing from Blackwood and its partners – with MacRoberts LLP providing legal advice specifically with patenting and trademarks and BT providing an iPad and professional support.

Entries have come from all over the globe with competitors located as far away as America pitching via Skype to land the top prize.

Last year’s winner, Iain McDiarmid, capped a triumphant 12 months when he saw his Mountain Trike design used by Armed Forces rehabilitation centres.

He is fully supportive of the competition and the benefits it can bring, saying: “I would definitely recommend anyone to enter the competition.

“The opportunities are huge and you get to compare design ideas with other budding inventors – and see what they are working on, it’s a very creative atmosphere.”

Volunteer judges will also provide contestants with direct feedback on the day and critique over the live stream feed.

Judges taking part in the 2015 competition include Conall McGinley from Scottish Enterprise, David Reid Chairperson of Remap Scotland, Tina Gordon the Coach for Basketball Scotland, Alan Kelly form MacRoberts Law, Rosemary Calder General Manager for Service Delivery for BT and lastly, Niall Phillips Contract Director for BT Global Services.

Fanchea Kelly, Chief Executive at Blackwood, believes the competition is a great way to give young designers a chance to showcase their talent, which wholly ties in with Blackwood’s ethos for providing innovative care.

She said: “At Blackwood we are completely focused on ensuring innovation is incorporated with our provisions of care.

“There are so many talented young individuals out there and offering them the chance to bring their ideas to a reality is very rewarding for us.

“Some of the designs we have previously seen are revolutionary and have benefited the lives of many others.

“We are all looking forward to this year’s big pitch and wish all of our entrants the best of luck.”


Discover more about Blackwood by accessing the official client hub


Colin Foskett, Head of The Blackwood Foundation, also believes the competition is a perfect example of the new Blackwood ethos, which aims to provide beneficial digital and technological improvements to vulnerable groups of people.

He said: “At Blackwood our aim is to allow our customers and tenants to live their life to the full, by investing in future technologies and equipment we believe we are successfully able to do this.

“Innovation is ageless, and we feel there are many young people out there who have wonderful and creative ideas that can help to improve the lives of others.

“By investing in, and promoting, new design talent we aim to provide a platform for individuals to showcase their designs whilst also providing a helpful innovative technology to those with disabilities, the elderly and those with impairments.

“Many previous entrants have gone on to achieve great things so it is definitely a worthwhile opportunity for all budding designers out there.”

Blackwood has been a leading name for 40 years in the housing and care sector, operating all across Scotland and is renowned for its work in adapting properties to let people who are disabled, elderly or have sensory impairments, to live independently.


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    Public rleations agency account executive Ross Stebbing

    Private: Ross Stebbing

    As part of the expert PR team at a fast-paced Scottish public relations agency, Ross Stebbing works on diverse clients in sectors including film and media, construction, healthcare and logistics. While he delivers PR in Edinburgh, his results appear in newspapers, magazines and websites all across the UK and beyond.

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