Sixteen-year-old Sophie Geeves from Avalon on Sydney’s northern beaches inspired an international contest to design a stylish walking frame for people with cerebral palsy. The design idea is shortlisted in the international World Cerebral Palsy Day contest – ‘Change My World in 1 Minute’.
Geeves expressed her dismay to aunt, Margot Tugwell, about her not-so-stylish walking frame. Her desire for a smart and stylish frame prompted Tugwell to enter the idea in the global campaign to change the world for people living with cerebral palsy.
“It is such a simple idea, yet one that will change the world for teenagers and other fashion-conscious people with cerebral palsy. Just because a walking frame needs to be functional, doesn’t mean it can’t look good too,” says Tugwell.
Established in 2012, World Cerebral Palsy Day is an international day of awareness and a campaign for innovation to improve the lives for people with cerebral palsy. The ‘Change My World in 1 Minute’ contest asks people from around the world to submit ideas that they think could change the lives of someone with cerebral palsy.
Sophie Geeves (left) with her aunt
The designer walker is one of three ideas shortlisted for development from an estimated 400 entries from around the world. Inventors, designers and makers are now invited to bring these three ideas to life, and compete for a $50,000 prize pool.
Rob White, CEO of Cerebral Palsy Alliance, says, “We challenge the world to bring these ideas to life. This is an extraordinary opportunity to combine creativity, design and technology for a great cause and we can’t wait to see the results.”
Entries close on 20 June 2014. The winners will be announced on Monday 21 July 2014.
“It would be amazing to see what began as a discussion around the kitchen table, turn into a product available for children, teenagers and adults with cerebral palsy around the world,” says Sophie Geeves. “If someone can create it, I’d be proud to get out there and rock it.”
The ideas were reviewed by an international panel including people with cerebral palsy, parents, and experts in a variety of health, innovation and engineering fields.