L-r: Toria Chan, Clinical Director STEPS, Ian Trundell (client), Jules Leahy, Managing Director STEPS, Ray Boulger, Chairman STEPS and Sean Hutchinson, British Business Bank and Pete Sorsby, Investment Manager, Enterprise Ventures
A new rehabilitation centre which helps people to recover from serious illness and injuries has secured a £250,000 loan from NPIF – Enterprise Ventures Debt Finance, which is managed by Enterprise Ventures and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.
STEPS Rehabilitation, which opened earlier this year in Sheffield, aims to be a national centre of excellence for adults recovering from brain or spinal injuries and complex trauma. It has already recruited 35 staff and plans to create at least 30 more positions in the year ahead.
STEPS Rehabilitation has been launched by sisters Toria Chan and Jules Leahy to address the lack of facilities for younger patients in need of intensive rehabilitation. Around 26 per cent of strokes are in the under 65s but often the only care available is in residential homes designed for the elderly which don’t provide the intensive rehabilitation that is needed.
The sisters and their fellow directors have invested over £1.6 million of their own money to build a new state-of-the-art centre with 23 bedrooms, a large physio gym, hydrotherapy pool, games and music rooms on the site of the former Jacobs engineering works off Abbeydale Road. STEPS offers both residential and day rehabilitation care, with fees paid by the NHS, insurers and clients’ compensation payments, as well as self funding clients.
Toria Chan, Clinical Director at STEPS Rehabilitation, said: “A six-year dream has come to fruition and the ability to work with patients and our hand-picked team in a purpose-built facility, with my footprint on much of the clinical design, makes all the hard work in getting here seem worthwhile. I have enormous confidence we will be able to make a huge difference to those patients who share our drive and determination to work hard and maximize their recovery. We can now offer patients the tools with which to push their own recovery to its pinnacle.”
Peter Sorsby, Investment Manager at Enterprise Ventures, part of Mercia Technologies PLC, said: “STEPS Rehabilitation is a new first-class facility for the North of England and the only place in the region which offers this range and level of complex rehabilition. Toria, Jules and the management team have put in many years of hard work and invested a significant amount of their own money to open STEPS and the initial response has been very positive. We are delighted to be able to provide this funding to support them through the early stages.”
Grant Peggie, Director at British Business Bank, said: “NPIF continues to provide much needed support to local businesses across the Northern Powerhouse region. We are seeing NPIF make a real impact on growing companies already and this latest investment is no different. This funding will allow STEPS Rehabilitation to support local people in recovery and rehabilitation from major trauma while creating a number of new jobs, and we are delighted that this investment will support the company to help achieve its objectives.”
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.