Sheffield’s BearHugs gets royal seal of approval

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At the Prince’s Trust Yorkshire and the Humber Celebrate Success Awards this week, Faye Savory, founder of BearHugs, was awarded the Enterprise Award sponsored by Natwest.

The award recognises young people who have overcome barriers and achieved success in creating a sustainable business or a community or social enterprise.

“I’m so happy to win this award” Faye said. “The Prince’s Trust has done so much to help me both personally and professionally.”

Faye, 26, from Sheffield, was working as a Speech and Language Therapist when she was diagnosed with chronic Lyme Disease; it severely affected her mobility and her ability to carry out normal day-to-day tasks. At its most severe, Lyme Disease left her unable to wash, dress or feed herself and she could only leave the house using a wheelchair.

Trying to stay productive, Faye began blogging and, when able, made jewellery which she sold online, donating the profits to chronic illness charities. Then, when a friend sent Faye an especially thoughtful care package, Faye had an idea for a business: bespoke ‘hug in a box’ gift packages filled with feel-good treats.

Faye’s next step was The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme. Six months of market research later, she applied for the Trust’s Will it Work grant to market-test and prototype her boxes, and launched BearHugs. “Faye’s commitment and determination to break down the limitations of her illness are extraordinary” said the Prince’s Trust. “She has made BearHugs a success and hopes to use it to support others with chronic illness in the future.”

Earlier this year, Faye won the University of Sheffield Evolve Startup Showcase. BearHugs has also been nominated for a Sheffield Business Award for Excellence in Retail Services.