Simon Lyons

We’re thrilled to reveal the winner of our Design for Life competition, launched in 2014 to find an innovative solution to help those with a disability live more independently. 

Simon Lyon’s ‘Nimble’ – a tool to help those with limited mobility in their hands open packaging – is the winning idea, and we’ll provide funding of up to £10,000 to develop a prototype of his invention. 

The ‘Nimble’ is aimed at people with hand disabilities who can’t grip strongly between their finger and thumb – it’ll allow them to open problematic packaging with a swipe of their hand. Our judges chose Simon’s idea because of its scalability and potential to help many different groups of disabled people.

We look forward to supporting Simon as he continues to develop the product.

About Design For Life

We wanted to hear about an innovative product idea or solution that would help disabled people to live independently and improve their quality of life. It should allow those living with a disability to overcome a day-to-day problem and could help with anything from personal care to hobbies and household chores.


The Design for Life judges all share our commitment to helping those with disabilities enjoy the best possible quality of life. We invited experts in disability and innovation to help us make the difficult decision about which idea deserved funding up to £10,000.

Our judges were:

  • Stuart Henderson, Personal Injury Managing Partner at Irwin Mitchell
  • Liz Sayce, CEO of Disability Rights UK
  • David Constantine, co-founder of the charity Motivation
  • Phil Packer MBE, Charity Ambassador and founder of the British Inspiration Trust (BRIT)
  • Constance Agyeman, Development Manager at Nesta
  • Emma Linley, Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist at the London Spinal Cord Injury Centre
  • Peter Ford, Head of Commercial Design at De Montfort University

Disability Innovations Through The Ages

Take a look at our timeline showing the evolution of assistive technologies, from the Renaissance to the present day.

You can also read the fascinating history of these disability inventions that have changed countless lives over the years:

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