(L - R): Louise Newton, Beverley Nunes, and Lizzie Huxford.
Matthew Neville

York occupational therapy specialist expands with new premises and staff

York based occupational therapy specialist OT4Me has expanded its services thanks to its move to a larger, more well-equipped premises and made multiple new hires.

OT4Me offers specialist occupational therapy services for children and young people in York and surrounding areas. The company was set up in January 2020 by former NHS occupational therapists Lizzie Huxford and Louise Newton after they saw a gap in provision locally.

As well as offering sensory integration services, OT4Me also offers other occupational therapy services, and works with schools, charities, the NHS and families.

The new premises at Middlethorpe Park, which is equipped with specialist equipment including therapy swings and a climbing wall, meant OT4Me had space to take on occupational therapist Beverley Nunes and an intern to try and tackle their 14-week waiting list.

Lizzie said: “With the approach and equipment we use, it can look to the untrained eye as though we are just playing with our clients, but we are carefully planning the activities to ensure that we are providing the right type of sensory input to work on neuroplasticity, to attempt to influence the brain’s wiring.”

The pair were helped to find the premises and set it up with support from AD:VENTURE, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and helps businesses that are pre-start or less than three years old.

AD:VENTURE also gave them a grant during the first lockdown so they could work remotely; put them in touch with a business mentor, and offered them access to webinars in business basics.

Lizzie said: “AD:VENTURE helped sustain the business and helped us grow. We are both working mums and have managed to do this while balancing looking after our children.

Cllr Andrew Waller, executive member for economy and strategic planning at City of York Council, said: “OT4Me is a great example of spotting a need for local specialist support and taking the plunge during the pandemic to create a business in York providing help to individuals and their families which draws on the highly skilled workforce in the city.

“City of York Council has partnered with AD:VENTURE on numerous occasions to support business growth in York. We commend AD:VENTURE’s objective of providing quality support to help local businesses grow, especially in their early days when they require it the most.”

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