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London, 03 July 2016: A Surrey firm has struck a major deal with a leading Chinese medical company to supply high quality walking sticks and aids.

The massive contract came after representatives of the giant Huadong Medical Corporation spotted the revolutionary-designed Flexyfoot range at a trade fare last autumn.

The award-winning British design, which replaces the rigid rubber tips of walking sticks with a flexible, shock-absorbing ferrule, will now be sold across China which has growing older population.

The deal is a triumph for British designer David Goodwin and his Ripley-based company, who invented Flexyfoot after his sister struggled with standard NHS issue crutches when she was diagnosed with MS.

Patients often complain that the rubber foot, or ferrule, of NHS sticks and crutches slip in the wet and on some surfaces and often wear out quickly.

“The Flexyfoot bends to increase stability and remove the shock waves that travel through the wrist and arm with conventional aids,” he said.

Goodwin and his team also re-worked the walking stick grip and shaft to help remove the stigma of using a medical device.

Falls in the elderly can have devastating consequences with Government statistics revealing that 3,650 people die each year as a result of a fall and ambulance services respond to 700,000 annual calls to members of the public who have fallen.

Flexyfoot sales have soared since it first appeared on the market five years ago with orders rolling in from 24 countries and the China deal will create jobs along the Flexyfoot supply chain.

“The contract is worth a minimum £1 million over the five years and will help us expand,” said Mr Goodwin. “British designed goods are held in high esteem in China and the Union Jack on a product is viewed as a mark of quality. They have a huge problem with an ageing population that needs walking aids. The Chinese middle class is aspirational, has a lot more disposable income and want British products because they admire our innovation and style.'

The move will see Flexyfoot products sold by the Huadong Medical Company, which has 6,200 employees and runs clinics, pharmacies and health shops across the nation. They will also be used at hospitals.

The metal components are manufactured in China but the design and assembly are done at Ripley and two production units in Horsham and Norwich.

“The first element of Flexyfoot is that it does a safe job very well because it reduces pain and makes it easier to walk,” said Mr Goodwin. “It then looks good and that means people can use it without feeling self-conscious.”

The company has also had a positive response from investors on the Seedrs crowdfunding platform who are keen to support its expansion moves across China and in Japan.Click here to invest in Flexyfoot

For further information about Flexyfoot, David Goodwin or the Seedrs investment please contact:
Susie Taylor
connect@susie-taylor.com
0788 6089041

About Flexyfoot

Flexyfoot is an innovative UK manufacturer of walking aids that offer very significant increases in safety and comfort for people who rely on them. Started in 2010, the company exports to over 25 countries including Japan, China and Germany. In the UK Flexyfoot products are available in Boots, independent pharmacies, mobility retailers and on-line. Flexyfoot was founded by multi award winning product designer David Goodwin who has worked with major brands such as Parker Pen, Franke Kitchens and London Underground.

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