ONE of the Greenock Telegraph’s community champion award winners has landed a major business deal with a nationwide retailer for the knee pad product she invented.

Victoria Hamilton, 27, of Gourock, was Young Enterprise Champion at our awards bash earlier this year and now she is celebrating a lucrative contract with Homebase, who have large stores in Greenock and elsewhere around the country.

Victoria is the founder of ‘Recoil Knee Pad’, which she developed for people in the trades and construction industries to help protect their knees.

She was selling it on her own website, where Homebase spotted it and added it to their lists.

Originally conceived four years ago to help her dad, Gordon, a joiner who suffers from osteo-arthritis and severe knee pain, the award-winning product has been received positively by tradesmen, with some saying it has saved them having to change to a job that didn’t involve kneeling.

Victoria, herself a former employee of Homebase, said: “I started working for Homebase in Greenock when I was 17 and I left in 2013 to pursue Recoil.

“What followed was two years of product development and a year of manufacture set-up.

“To get the product stocked by Homebase has been a goal of mine for a long time, so I’m really excited to finally see it on a shelf.”

Victoria is currently being supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering on their prestigious fellowship programme.

She said: “The support has been phenomenal.

“I wouldn’t have got to this stage without that encouragement.”

The pad design uses springs sandwiched between two layers to absorb impact, and then spread pressure evenly across the knee.

It is said to offer wearers up to 76 per cent pressure reduction on the knee.

Victoria’s business has secured support to help set up its manufacture with local injection moulders in Edinburgh.

Her company is in the process of finalising an investment deal which will allow it to sell internationally and recruit two employees in the coming months.

She attended Gourock High and studied product design and engineering at Strathclyde University, where she developed the kneepad as part of her masters coursework.

Victoria’s successes have included winning £50,000 of business funding plus a year of support from the Young Innovators Challenge, as well as £5,000 from the UK-wide Santander Universities Entrepreneurship scheme.

The revolutionary pad she has created will be stocked by 60 Homebase outlets across the UK, as well as five new Bunnings warehouse stores owned by the same group.