A DUO have set up a business to create inclusive and creative home adaptations to aid mobility for elderly people.

Laura Wood, from Marske-by-the-Sea and Paul Pentelow, from Newcastle are behind Invisible Creations, the start-up business founded to create attractive home adaptations.

The idea for Invisible Creations emerged when the two housing professionals, who worked for North Star Housing Group and Karbon Homes at the time, were part of a project team on the National Housing Federation’s ‘Creating our Future’ Programme in 2018.

The programme provides a platform for housing associations to collaborate on a sector-wide scale to tackle housing’s biggest social challenges.

Invisible Creations' director of marketing, Laura Wood, and head of product design, Paul Pentelow, spearheaded a project team as part of the initiative that came up with Invisible Creations.

The business creates attractive and inclusive home solutions, designed to remove the stigma currently associated with products for older people.

Now, the entrepreneurs are making their business idea a reality thanks to the support of housing associations, Johnnie Johnson Housing, Karbon Homes and Anchor Hanover.

The three social landlords, who have properties across the North East, have collaborated to turn Invisible Creations into a business that aims to future-proof housing stock and support people to live independently in their homes for longer.

Yvonne Castle, chief executive of Johnnie Johnson Housing, said: "At Johnnie Johnson we’re absolutely delighted to be working with partners to lead the way in revolutionising adaptations. It’s been great to work with like-minded organisations like Karbon, Anchor Hanover and the National Housing Federation to make this happen.

“We all have a desire to create adaptations that aren’t the ugly looking ones that are in the marketplace at the moment. We should all be able to age in our own homes and be proud of how they look. That’s the aim of our new company Invisible Creations. It’s an exciting time for innovation in housing.”

Laura and Paul were chosen from hundreds of employees across the housing sector to take part in the ‘Creating our Future’ Programme that challenged five teams to develop solutions to transform lives.

Laura said: “This journey has been a very personal one for me, as the inspiration for our idea came from my Gran, Sheila. Like millions of others, she needed support to get around her home, but she refused to get any of the existing grab rail products installed because they look clinical and make you feel like you’re bringing the hospital into your home.

“The reality is Sheila isn’t alone in this, research shows that people would rather put their health at risk than get these adaptations installed. Millions of people across the country are making dangerous decisions that damage their health, rather than using the current products available to them.

“So, we thought the solution was simple, design better, give Sheila and the rapidly ageing population products they actually want, not just ones they need."