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Company:Alpha Inclusion

Small Grant Scheme £5,143
http://blockbus.co.uk/

About the business

Amy Eleftheriades pinpointed that for teachers dealing with autistic children, their key problem is the inability to communicate effectively. Having been trained in a technique known as ‘Lego-therapy’, Amy developed further activities to help teachers and parents establish better quality language and communications with children affected by this condition.

Recognising that there was a gap in the market for her services Amy set up Alpha Inclusion to bring her innovative approach to the people that needed it.

Block Bus in Action thanks to Grant
The Block Bus in action

The issue faced by Alpha Inclusion

A chance conversation led Amy to realise that her activities could very well transfer to the world of mainstream business.

What made Amy turn to the Growth Hub?

To combine her established work in the education sector and desire to expand into the corporate world, Amy came up with the idea of buying a commercial vehicle which could be converted into both a mobile classroom and an events space. She needed help to make such a purchase.

How the Growth Hub helped

Business Adviser, Robert Turnbull, visited Amy and very quickly got to grips with the issues and nuances that she was facing. He helped her submit a Small Grant Scheme application which resulted in a £5,143 grant to purchase and stock the ‘Block Bus’. Robert also helped Amy with marketing the core benefits of her proposition and even the design of the bus!

Amy commented, “It was great to have Robert’s support at this stage of the business’s development. He was experienced in the market I operated in and was able to accurately assess the business and its issues. I appreciated having someone to talk to who knew what I was going through and he has also helped to facilitate some valuable contacts for us. Being unfamiliar with the corporate sector he gave me the confidence to approach it.”

What impact did this have on helping the business expand?

Amy of Alpha Inclusion

“Having the Block Bus has been a business-changing event”, explained Amy, “We now run sessions for children in schools where perhaps there hadn’t previously been the space or resource. All the equipment we use is in the bus so wherever we go we can operate to our full capability. It’s also a fantastic mobile ad for what we do! We are now moving into areas such as company team building events and having the bus means we can operate off-site if needed. The Small Grant Scheme funding has enabled us to accelerate our growth as demand from the corporate sector has taken off.”

The Business Adviser’s view

Robert Turnbull said, “Amy’s situation was one with which we are familiar – a business owner who has a great idea and worthy deliverables but doesn’t have the experience to fully exploit its commercial and social benefits. Funding, or the lack of it, often holds back the speed at which companies can expand. It was clear with Alpha Inclusion that if we could help with the purchase of the Block Bus, the business would be able to earn revenue much quicker.”

Alpha Inclusion’s success continues

Update 23 October 2018

The Block Bus was successfully launched on the 23rd October at the Norwich Science Fair. Read more by clicking the link below.

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/education/norfolk-block-bus-children-lego-therapy-from-alpha-inclusion-1-5749164

Update 12 June 2019

We’re so pleased to see that The Block Bus is still going from strength to strength. Read more by clicking the link below.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-48314372

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