Lord-Lieutenant presents Gloucester firm with coveted Queen’s Award

Gloucestershire’s Lord-Lieutenant has presented a firm, headed by a SAIF member, with Britain’s most coveted commercial prize – a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation.

Dame Janet Trotter visited the Gloucester headquarters of Roftek Limited, trading as Flexmort, to formally handover the award which the company will hold for the next five years.

Also present was local MP Richard Graham and Gloucestershire County Council Chief Executive Peter Bungard. The business, based in Quedgeley, manufactures a wide range of innovative products used by both the NHS and the funeral industry.

Flexmort, who also supply many independent funeral directors, offer a variety of products from single-body solutions to cold rooms, pop-up systems and traditional mortuary refrigeration capable of handling mass casualties.

Managing Director Simon Rothwell launched the enterprise in 2010 after a chance remark by his brother-inlaw that UK hospitals were struggling to cope with a rise in obesity. This meant many bodies were too large for traditional mortuary refrigerators. It led him to develop a range of cooling units which would allow a body to be stored anywhere, including a bed, trolley or coffin, without the need for a cold room.

As a former policeman, he had also witnessed the trauma suffered by bereaved parents having to see their child in a mortuary. The entrepreneur came up with a solution now widely used on maternity wards – the CuddleCot.

A cooling pad inside the crib allows a baby to be kept in a room with the parents for longer, instead of having to be moved to a mortuary.

Presenting Mr Rothwell with a cut glass bowl, Dame Trotter said: “I’m amazed by everything you have achieved. You clearly have huge potential. There is vision, hard work, innovation, excellence and teamwork.”

The dignitaries were given a tour and a presentation about Roftek’s other products, including DNA Memorial which enables people to preserve the DNA of their relatives at home for vital medical research.

Mr Rothwell said: “This award has come as a huge boost to me and all the staff who have worked tremendously hard to ensure our ground-breaking products are in demand around the world. I couldn’t have wished for more, given that the company has only been going for a few years.”

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