‘If only more companies were like this,’ says MP

From left: Ewan Gilfillan, Annabel Hornsby, David Blunkett MP, James Kennedy and Samuel Lee.
From left: Ewan Gilfillan, Annabel Hornsby, David Blunkett MP, James Kennedy and Samuel Lee.
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David Blunkett visited the factory of one of Sheffield’s most innovative companies - and left well and truly Grippled.

The Sheffield Brightside MP learned about the employee-owned firm’s values and philosphy from founder Hugh Facey, before meeting staff organising activites for Support Dogs in Sheffield.

He said: “Gripple is not simply a highly successful manufacturing enterprise, it is an experience. Employee-owned and driven by innovation and mutual creativity, this is a Sheffield company displaying all the strengths of our creative history, entrepreneurship and decent employee relations.

“No bonus culture here, but a sharing of the challenge and the rewards. If there were only more companies like Gripple, the world would be a better and more successful place for everyone. There is also a strong team spirit, demonstrated in the staff’s ongoing links with the community.”

Staff at Gripple and sister company Loadhog are involved in helping Support Dogs. Donation boxes have been installed at three sites and staff helped re-decorate and install new lighting at three of the charity’s training rooms. Meanwhile a 12,000ft skydive is planned for summer. Fundraising is now approaching £1,000.

Danny Anderson, fundraising manager at Support Dogs in Sheffield, said: “Gripple has helped to create a more suitable environment for our clients with autism, epilepsy and physical disability when they come to our centre. The amazing ‘demo box’ - which includes a demo washing machine, supermarket shelves, letter box, light switch and alarm cord - will allow us to demonstrate wide ranging skills our dogs learn.”