Why the Tray buddy came to be
Diagnosed with an autoimmune condition over 10 years ago, my mobility is affected to some degree and as a result, I use canes when needed to assist walking.
Occasional fatigue, weakness and lack of balance are typical symptoms of this condition but I’m generally able to carry out most daily activities.
There were times when I considered occupying just a single floor of my home – ideally the ground floor but I wasn’t convinced that ‘micro’ living in this way was the best option for me to adopt.
I knew that physical activity was important to help strengthen and maintain muscles and doing simple, daily, physical activities around the house would provide me with a variety of ways to keep moving.
I took the view that if I could safely move around my home and use the stairs throughout the day, this would promote wellness and an improved quality of independence but carrying items safely was sometimes difficult.
One of my biggest challenges came when I prepared meals and drinks in my kitchen on the ground floor, to take upstairs to my study on the second floor.
Walking in a straight line, maintaining balance and holding a number of objects at the same time was a slow and sometimes perilous task.
It was also not unusual for food that started off piping hot from the kitchen to finish barely warm by the time I reached my office with it.
And after the occasional transportation accident, what survived the journey was not always pretty!
Necessity is the mother of invention
It was here that I came to appreciate the need to have something that would not only hold items in a secure way, but could also be used with just one hand giving me a free hand to support my movement but after searching online without success, I knew I would have to use my existing skills as a designer to create a solution.
After many drawings, tweaking measurements and with some help to create a prototype, the first Tray Buddy was born and after successful patent application, in 2014 I started properly using it.
As well as solving the problem I originally had, there were other situations that I hadn’t considered before where the Tray buddy was surprisingly helpful.
Very soon, the comments and feedback I began to receive from family, friends and the general public reminded me that there are a great number of people with conditions or similar mobility challenges…
Challenges that could also be reduced or eliminated when using my ‘new helper’ the Tray Buddy.
So, here we are.