AS heating bills rise and winter looms, the founder of three heavyweight engineering firms has turned his attentions to helping elderly people keep warm.
Dr Tony Trapp has been more accustomed to negotiating major contracts with the offshore and subsea industries through North East companies SMD, IHC Engineering and now OSBIT Power.
But the plight of elderly people struggling to heat their homes due to rising energy costs has inspired the engineer and entrepreneur to revive an old idea.
Trapp, who is also now managing director of Northumberland-based Trappeng, has developed Snuglin, a heated cushion that costs less than 1p an hour to run.
He said: “A huge number of people live in houses that are too cold and damp but they can’t afford to heat them. Recent winters have been extremely cold and we know many people are vulnerable.
“There are proven health risks associated with living in a permanent chill. You may not think straight, you don’t function properly and there are specific conditions such as Raynaud’s disease and others associated with poor circulation.
“You can sit in a chair and hold Snuglin on your lap or, even better, hug it close to you and you need never feel cold.
“I’m not saying you would be able to turn the heating off all the time, but this a more direct way of keeping warm and offers very significant cost savings on domestic heating bills.”