It’s been a transformative year for STEPS Rehabilitation. 2023 has seen us expand our levels of care, jet out across the world, and set us up for more dramatic growth in the new year.

Twas the Night Before Christmas 2023

‘Tis the season for STEPS Rehabilitation to create another festive video. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas was the result of months of planning and preparation. It’s by far our biggest video project yet, and we’re really proud of the results. If you’ve not had chance to see it yet, you can take a look here…

The ExoAtlet Exoskeleton

2023 has been a year of great innovation and technological advancement. STEPS was able to utilise and purchase some of this innovation in the form of the ExoAtlet exoskeleton.

The ExoAtlet exoskeleton serves as a tool for gait training and rehabilitation, aiming to enhance walking functionality and foster independence among individuals facing neurological, muscular injuries, illnesses, or weaknesses.

It offers improved control, giving users the ability to take command by utilising a smart crutch. Alternatively, STEPS' therapy team can offer guidance through a tablet, ensuring a tailored and efficient treatment approach.

This exoskeleton is an incredible addition to our exoskeleton assessment centre and we’re enjoying seeing the impact on client outcomes.

Awards, Successes, and Submissions

It’s been an amazing year of recognition for STEPS. We wrapped up 2023 by taking home the ‘Medium Sized Business of the Year’ award at the unLTD Business Awards in Sheffield.

Upon receiving the prestigious awards, Founder and Business Development Director Jules Shiel-Boulger said, “We are thrilled to receive recognition at the unLTD Business Awards. Our deep sense of pride in our Sheffield roots is matched by the privilege of being acknowledged at a local award ceremony. From our beginnings as a start-up six years ago, we've grown into a thriving business with a team of over 170 individuals. Our dedication to providing exceptional care to those impacted by catastrophic injuries is showcased in our unique facility, which also serves as a hub for world-leading technology. It was a real pleasure to share the evening with other local businesses, many of whom have supported us throughout our journey.”

Back in November, we also took home the ‘North East, Yorkshire, and Humber Family Business Entrepreneur of the Year 2023’ award. This was part of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, which celebrate the stories of exceptional entrepreneurs for over a decade.

Additionally, in September, we were shortlisted for the Neuro Rehab Times Awards 2023. This recognises the exceptional contribution of individuals working within leadership roles in neuro-rehab. It also recognises the impact they have made in the advancement of rehabilitation services and ultimately improved client outcomes.

Back in April, STEPS Rehabilitation Founders and Directors, Toria Chan and Jules Shiel-Boulger, won ‘Sheffield City Region Leaders’ at the 2023 Northern Leadership Awards. They were recognised for their management, leadership, and business vision at the 2023 Northern Leadership Awards. They won this prestigious award for the Sheffield City Region.

The STEPS Rehabilitation Foundation

In September, we were proud to launch the STEPS Rehabilitation Foundation. This new charity is dedicated to providing support and funding for individuals recovering from complex trauma, injuries, and illnesses.

The goal is to enhance the quality of life for individuals with disabilities resulting from injury or illness by facilitating their access to specialised rehabilitation services, home equipment adaptations, and more. The STEPS Rehabilitation Foundation, led by a dedicated team of trustees, includes people who have personal experience of life-changing injuries.

The foundation primarily focuses on providing financial support to individuals facing a lack of alternative funding options, such as those without personal injury claims or access to other funds. The STEPS Rehabilitation Foundation collaborates with various service providers and suppliers, prioritising those that offer the best value for money and customer service.

The foundation aims to fund a range of therapies, services, and support, including but not limited to:

  • Specialised rehabilitation, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and hydrotherapy.
  • Home adaptations.
  • Disability aids and specialised equipment.
  • Accessible leisure and sports experiences, services, and/or equipment.

RehabWeek 2023

STEPS delivered a workshop and multiple presentations at RehabWeek 2023. Being hosted in Singapore this year, we flew out to the other side of the world to meet up with some of the best minds in the business. The week brought together internationally renowned speakers from clinical neurosciences and rehabilitation technology.

Our workshop was titled ‘How Advanced Technologies Complement Clinical Practice in Specialist Residential Rehabilitation, An Exploration of Practical Application and Protocol Development’.

STEPS 6th Birthday

Back in June, the whole STEPS team came together to celebrate our 6th birthday. It was a beautiful day with a rare bit of sunshine and heat for this year’s summer. We had a BBQ, played games, and even had a steel drum band give us a live performance!

It wasn’t just the STEPS team that were invited, though, as our clients and the families we support were also there with us in the sun. Not only this, but as our birthday happens to fall into pride month, we encouraged our guests to come dressed in their most colourful attire!

BSPRM BASCIS Joint Annual Conference 2023

STEPS were delighted to partner with the British Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicines (BSPRM) Joint Annual Conference. This was the first face-to-face conference in three years, which ran with the annual British Association of Spinal Cord Injury Specialists (BASCIS) and Guttman meeting. STEPS Clinical Director Toria Chan and Lucy Greensmith Specialist Occupational Therapist delivered presentations and interactive sessions.

The EMU Joined our Fleet

Cutting-edge is the aim of the game in everything we do here at STEPS. That is why, back in April, we introduced the EMU into our fleet of technology. We are home to one of  only a very small number of Exomotus exoskeletons in the UK.  This kit will help us support the delivery of neurological rehabilitation.

The ExoMotus™ M4 device empowers individuals facing lower limb impairments to enhance their activity levels through the execution of routine ambulatory functions, including standing and walking on level surfaces and gentle slopes. Personalised gait parameters cater to the specific needs of each user, ensuring a tailored experience. The device is also adept at facilitating early-stage rehabilitation training, encompassing exercises like sit-to-stand, fostering optimal sensory input, improving cardiopulmonary function, and mitigating the risk of muscle atrophy.

In a parallel vein, the ArmMotus™ EMU stands out as a cutting-edge 3D back-drivable upper limb rehabilitation robot. Employing an innovative cable-driven mechanism and a parallel structure constructed from lightweight carbon fibre rods, this design minimises friction and inertia. The result is an optimised control system that responds and executes commands with heightened efficiency, fostering increased compliance in human-machine interaction.

Curry Night Raises Money

In April we were thrilled to organise our second Sheffield Curry Night in collaboration with Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA), the charity dedicated to patient safety and justice. We managed to raise an incredible £1,480! During the event, attendees enjoyed a delightful two-course meal provided by Akbars Sheffield.

The evening also featured an exciting raffle with generous contributions from Scala, STEPS Rehabilitation, Betty’s, Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United, Chatsworth House, Sheffield City Trust, 7BR, Ashtons Legal, STEPS Prosthetics, France + Associates, and Akbars.

STEPS Rehabilitation Refurb

Throughout 2023 we have been carrying out much refurbishment throughout the building that will continue into 2024. Two of the large projects this year has been the redesign  of the reception space and the nurses stations. Jules Shiel-Boulger, Founder and Business Development Manager, who oversaw the project was inspired by the work that interior designer, Claire Horsley had undertaken for the luxury Rudding Park Hotel in Harrogate.

Jules said, “We wanted to introduce Claire’s ideas, flair and creativity to STEPS for our clients, team and visitors to enjoy. She worked closely with us and helped us to update the areas with designs and features that break the stereotype of what a rehabilitation facility should look like, to provide a comfortable, home-away-from-home environment for our clients and practical workspace for our team.”