AN ENTREPRENEUR with cerebral palsy has received a second accolade.
Stephen Collins, who runs Lazarus Mobility aids, is the Yorkshire winner of the Leonard Cheshire Foundation Disabled Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Stephen joins other regional winners next month at a ceremony at the House of Lords, when the national winner – and recipient of a £50,000 prize – will be announced.
Earlier this year Stephen was named as a finalist in the Barclays Trading Places Award.
In the meantime, he has been congratulated by Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman and Clr Peter McBride, ward member for Dalton and Kirklees Council cabinet member for transport.
Stephen said: “It was a shock to find out that I’d won – but a nice shock.
“The annual award is all about recognising someone who is disabled but who has turned their life around to do something good for the community – and hopefully make money as they go along.”
Stephen said his company had enjoyed a very good first quarter to its financial year, although business had slowed a little in August because of the holidays.
But he added: “I have put a lot of hard work and effort into what I am doing and I intend to carry on.”
Stephen has also met Prime Minister Gordon Brown at 10 Downing Street after writing a letter to the PM expressing concern about the reluctance of banks to extend credit to businesses.
He said: “The banks in general are not as helpful as they might be. At the end of they day, they caused this economic situation, but now they don’t want to help people out of it.”
Stephen set up Lazarus Mobility three years ago to provide aids which he had personally selected and tested.
The company has grown to become a leading supplier of numerous disability aids.
Stephen has also had support from Dragon’s Den panellist Duncan Bannatyne, who last year agreed to pay his salary for a year to enable him to focus more fully on building up the business.
And there’s more in the pipeline due to Stephen’s work with experts at Warwick University.