Saint-Gobain in Scotland has further shown its support for the development of young people in Scotland by mentoring a local businesswoman. Through the Prince’s Trust’s mentoring programme, Vicky Hamilton was paired with Stuart McKill, Sustainable Habitat Leader for Saint-Gobain in Scotland.
A graduate in Product Design Engineering at Strathclyde University, Vicky created the Recoil Knee Pads to reduce the risk of osteoarthritis of the knee for trade workers.
Product Designer Vicky Hamilton from Gourock, Inverclyde who has revolutionised kneepads with her patent pending double-layer shock absorbing kneepad ‘Recoil’. Hamilton is pictured at her Dad, Gordon’s workshop with the prototype kneepads. Photography by Julie Howden
Having won various awards, such as the Santander Universities Enterprise award, the knee pads have been through academic testing to prove a 76% reduction in pressure on the knee – 20% better than existing competitors.
Vicky won the Business Woman Scotland ‘New Entrepreneur of the Year award’ which helped to increase her visibility in the business community and reinforce her business as ‘one to watch’. The awards, now in their third year, highlight the talent and dedication that women bring to the Scottish economy.
To build on this progress, Vicky wanted to expand awareness of her product and increase sales opportunities. The Prince’s Trust had already helped Vicky find her current business partner via its resource of former business managers, but she was looking for some guidance and expertise in entering the construction industry with her product.
Rising Stars, Victoria Hamilton
Vicky said: “My father suffers from osteoarthritis, which I believe has been caused by his lifelong career as a joiner. After seeing him come home from work complaining of his pain, I was inspired to create a solution, and so Recoil Knee Pads were born!
“Stuart’s advice has been great – I’ve learned more about how to enter the market, what suppliers would need from me and the challenges I may face. His knowledge in the industry is unprecedented, so I’m really grateful that he takes the time out to offer me support.”
Stuart said: “For a long time, we’ve been committed to supporting the Prince’s Trust and the work it does with training and guiding young people of Scotland into employment, so when the opportunity came for me to bring my experience of the construction sector to someone in need, I was excited to help Vicky.
“I’m there for her for pretty much anything she needs; to bounce ideas off, discuss next steps and discover market opportunities. We also discussed the supply chain in relation to current products as well as the most important area of sales development.
“It is great to be involved with innovative young people and, likewise, to see them develop ideas into commercial reality. I’m looking forward to working more with Vicky and seeing her thrive.”