Finalist in Barclays One Small Step competition hopes to win public vote and £50,000 to develop new range for babies in disaster areas
Yorkshire mumpreneur Claire Mitchell hopes to realise her dream of helping babies in disaster areas gain access to clean drinking water after being named as one of three North East finalists in a national business competition.
Claire is one of three North East finalists competing for a £50,000 investment in the Barclays One Small Step Competition.
Claire Mitchell, who lives near Ripon, came up with the idea for a gadget that allows mums on the move to feed their babies direct from a formula milk carton and a standard mineral water bottle, after a stressful car journey with her own hungry newborn.
She now wants to go into production with a pre-sterilised disposable version that will fit onto cartons and bottled water for use in areas where the water is contaminated.
“The importance of developing this new range has been in Claire’s mind since she had her Eureka moment but really hit home during the tsunami disaster in Japan when babies and children didn’t have access to clean drinking water,” said Claire.
“The design for a disposable version for disaster zone use is complete but it isn’t in production yet and I was really frustrated that I wasn’t in a position to help.”
If Claire wins the competition she plans to secure global safety standards for the new version before travelling to the US to present it to disaster relief coordinators.
“Achieving the necessary standards should take around three months and then I will be able to talk to the necessary organisations, offering to ensure we have a stockpile in place that can be sent out to areas of need as soon as an emergency develops,” she said.
“It could be anything from a major flood in the UK that affects water supplies to an earthquake, tsunami or nuclear disaster anywhere in the world.”
The winning business will be the one that gets most public votes between May 30 and July 26.
“I’m delighted to have made it to the final three but now it’s up to the public to decide which business deserves the cash to help it to the next stage,” said Claire.
“It took me over three years to take the Chillipeeps feeding teat from concept to reality and it would be incredible if my idea, which is designed and manufactured in Britain, could be used by babies and children across the globe,” she added.
To vote for Chillipeeps in the Barclays One Small Step Competition visit www.takeonesmallstep.co.uk Or text CHILLI to 62555