By: 18 October 2018
Showcase of exoskeleton technology

A state-of-the-art rehabilitation facility in Sheffield hosted an exclusive industry event in June that showcased the very latest in exoskeleton technology, by the very people that the technology is designed to help

STEPS Rehabilitation is a new, architecturally ground-breaking facility that provides highly specialist intensive and ongoing rehabilitation for people recovering from neurological and multiple trauma injuries. It is one of only a small number of centres in the UK that provides this type of rehabilitation.

STEPS Rehabilitation provides residential and day rehabilitation for those suffering from neurological conditions, stroke, spinal cord injuries, acquired brain injuries and orthopaedic injuries.

Its facilities include 23 en-suite bedrooms, rehabilitation gym, hydrotherapy pool, therapy kitchens, hairdressing salon, games room, music room and café, together with an outdoor covered rehabilitation area.

The event was a rare occasion to watch three exoskeletons models currently available in the UK being demonstrated. The REX, ReWalk 6.0 and Ekso GT were demonstrated to a group of leading industry medical practitioners – all of whom have an interest in learning more about the technology and the benefits they bring to patients.

Jules Leahy, a Founder and Director of STEPS said: “We pride ourselves on offering clients access to innovative technology combined with the support and expertise of specialist rehabilitation team. Having access to exoskeleton technology as early as possible in the rehabilitation process is hugely beneficial to clients both physically and emotionally. The way the body re-learns movement is by lots of repetition. If we can put somebody in one of these walking suits it’s less physically demanding for therapists too.”

Simon Kindleyside and Dale Messenger took centre stage to demonstrate how they operated the Exoskeletons and explained the incredible positive impact that the suits have had on their lives.

Simon was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour in 2013, which left him paralysed from the waist down. Earlier this year he became the first paralysed man to walk the London Marathon route. He demonstrated the REX and ReWalk.6 exoskeletons and explained to delegates how use of the exoskeletons has transformed his life.

“It’s made a dramatic change” he explained. “This technology has enabled me to accomplish things that I never dreamt possible after I became paralysed. I’m on a mission to share my experiences of this incredible technology, not just with professionals working with paralysed people, but to inspire others in the same position as me to believe that anything is possible.”

More recently, STEPS Rehabilitation Directors, Jules Leahy and Toria Chan won an award at the Barclays Yorkshire Women in Business Awards 2018, in the category of ‘Most Supportive Business Promoting Diversity and Citizenship’.

Speaking of their success at the awards ceremony, Jules said: “It is such a privilege working with our clients and their families and we are so pleased to be able to offer something which is not only different but also making such a positive impact on our clients’ lives. We couldn’t have got to this point of realising our vision without the passion, belief and support from all our investors, directors and our amazing STEPS rehab team of course.”

Toria added, “We have created a facility that we hope will help to inspire and motivate clients, and we’ve always known that the key to that success was to recruit a team that shared the STEPS values and philosophies. Many of the STEPS team have personal experiences that allow them to truly empathise with our clients, including a few who have themselves suffered a brain injury. Enabling these team members to work in an inclusive environment allows them in turn to be an inspiration to our clients as well as the rest of the team, demonstrating what can be possible.”


For more information on STEPS Rehabilitation, visit: