Commercial Director Andrew Macphail, celebrates 22 years’ service and Customer Services Manager Debbie Jones 26 years.
Mangar Health celebrate their 40 year ‘ruby’ anniversary with specially commissioned red lifting cushions.

Global medical devices supplier Mangar Health is celebrating 40 years of business this year after originally founding its company on a unique idea to help an elderly family member.

Based on their own experience, husband and wife team David and Francesca Garman were inspired to create the world’s first powered, portable bath lift, which is designed to help lift patients and older people with safety and dignity.

David and Francesca Garman have seen their company grow from humble beginnings to an international company, with a factory in Presteigne Mid Wales, employing more than 60 members of staff.

The inspirational couple spent more than 36 years designing and manufacturing assistive equipment before selling to their management team in 2014.

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In 2018, Mangar Health was bought by French-owned Winncare Group but the success of today sits firmly in values established in 1981, when the company became the first major employer in the local rural Powys community.

With CEO Simon Claridge at the helm, the company has a global reach with products sold in Europe, North America and Australia and the firm is best recognised for supplying inflatable lifting cushions to the UK Ambulance Service.

Francesca Garman recalls how they quickly recognised the potential for global reach. She says, “David was enormously driven to design products that provide simple solutions for people facing daily challenges with mobility. We spent hours, days and weeks researching, planning and creating unique, innovative equipment and the results were phenomenal.

“The response from occupational therapists, charities and clinicians at our first ever exhibition was incredibly exciting and from that moment on we knew how important our work was going to be both in the UK and farther afield.”

Throughout the 40 years, more than 40 products have been designed and throughout this 40th year the Mangar team will be reminiscing on social media, posting images of equipment designed in the very early days. Francesca continues, “There are still occupational therapists working today that remember our early bath lift. Our first Local Authority sale was to Suffolk County Council after we had worked with their occupational therapist to help a lady with Still’s Disease.

“The bath lift allowed the lady to enjoy the benefits of a warm bath, which eased her arthritic pain. She became a great champion of the product and 10 years later Mangar donated the latest model so she could continue to enjoy her personal care.”

Some of the staff at Mangar Health have been employed for more than 30 years, with Francesca recalling how some recruits joined the company straight from school at 16 and developing into valued, respected members of their team.

Highlights of the 40 years include being featured on Blue Peter, a visit from Princess Ann in 1989 and launching the Camel lifting cushion with a real Camel ride up and down Presteigne high street.

More recent significant business wins with Ambulance New South Wales, British Columbia Ambulance and 600 care homes in Wales means the company goes from strength to strength and look forward to the next 40 years with anticipation.

CEO Simon Claridge concludes: “David and Francesca Garman set in motion the importance of really understanding customer needs and working tirelessly to design solutions that change the lives of everyone who uses them.

“Today, we continue to educate and inform our healthcare clinicians in the importance of protecting their own musculoskeletal health, as well as promoting user independence.”

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