16th August 2022
Occupational therapist Martina Tierney from Limavady has been named the Catalyst Impact Award Winner 2022 for her exceptional work with Seating Matters, designing therapeutic chairs to meet the wide-ranging needs of patients with disabilities.
The brand new Catalyst Impact Award is a part of Catalyst’s annual innovation competition, INVENT 2022. It recognises an inspirational business leader who has significantly contributed to Northern Ireland by creating positive and inclusive economic and social impact from innovation.
Martina’s work with Seating Matters has been recognised by an expert panel of judges, making her the first ever recipient of the prestigious award.
Throughout her 30-year career working with patients, Martina discovered the profound effects that unsafe seating could have on patient outcomes. In response to a lack of appropriate seating in care homes in her local community, Martina established Seating Matters in 2008.
Martina designed the first therapeutic chairs to meet the complex needs and pressure injuries of her individual patients. Research has shown that appropriate seating improves respiration, digestion, posture, reduces pressure injuries and improves a patient’s overall quality of life.
Speaking about her achievement, Martina Tierney, Clinical Director at Seating Matters said:
“It is an honour to be recognised by the local community and the INVENT panel for my work with Seating Matters, designing chairs to meet the complex needs of patients with disabilities and issues with mobility. I am so glad that more people can now see the importance that good seating has on a person’s health and wellbeing.
“When I first established Seating Matters in response to a lack of appropriate seating in local care homes, I never imagined our business would grow to where it is today. We now supply our chairs across the UK and Ireland, Australia, USA, Canada and other parts of Europe. We have aggressive growth plans where we will supply our chairs to many new territories globally in the next five years, allowing us to help more people.
“Our goal is to improve millions of lives every year through our products and global partnerships. It is recognition like this which will help us to improve the lives of many more people in the future. I look forward to celebrating this achievement with everyone at INVENT this September.”
Meg Magill, INVENT Programme Manager, said:
“Martina is truly deserving to be the first recipient of our brand new Impact Award. Her work with Seating Matters has been incredible and deserves to be recognised. The new award is truly special as it acknowledges inspirational leaders who have helped to create a positive and inclusive impact from innovation. Martina’s work has helped millions of people worldwide.
“The Impact Award aligns with Catalyst’s new five-year strategy which focuses on inclusive innovation. Among our targets are plans to identify and support the development of 100 prominent role model entrepreneurs, such as Martina, who are an inspiration to the innovative community. We look forward to announcing even more award winners at the INVENT Ceremony in the coming weeks.”
Mark Cunningham, Head of Regional Business Centres at Bank of Ireland UK, headline partner of the INVENT Awards, said:
“INVENT continues to be a source of inspiration for Northern Ireland and we are proud to support this year’s IMPACT award in recognition of Northern Ireland’s innovation heroes. Their experience and success provide real encouragement for aspiring innovators, who will be the lifeblood of our future economy. I’m delighted to announce Martina as this year’s IMPACT award recipient, she is an inspirational business leader and a very worthy winner.
“Martina has been instrumental in the creation of jobs and prosperity in the North West, and has been a beacon of innovation as she led Seating Matters to design products that would significantly improve outcomes for patients.”
The INVENT 2022 Awards Night will take place on 1st September at the ICC Waterfront Belfast. The event will see innovators across Northern Ireland be recognised for their work, will showcase the ten INVENT 2022 finalists and unveil the INVENT 2022 overall winner. Tickets can be purchased at: https://www.invent22.co/awards.
Pictured at Seating Matters HQ in Limavady, Meg Magill, INVENT Programme Manager, Catalyst; Martina Tierney, Clinical Director at Seating Matters; Elaine Smyth, Head of Innovation Community, Catalyst and Mark Cunningham, Head of Regional Business Centres, Bank of Ireland UK.