Established in 1983, Leckey is a globally recognised pioneer in the research and development of products that help children and adults with disabilities to go, do, enjoy and participate in everyday activities throughout the day and night. The company which started as a one man concern now employs almost 100 people and distributes its products through a direct sales force in the UK & Ireland, and with market leading distributors worldwide.
1983 - While working as a Mechanical Engineer in Belfast, James Leckey becomes involved in a charity fundraising event to provide positional aids for special needs children in Northern Ireland. When the equipment arrives James sees little evidence that it meets the needs of the children. Working closely with locally based therapists and the children’s carers he develops an understanding of their needs and this helps him to design a range of highly adjustable seating, standing and bathing products specifically for the paediatric market.
1988 – Leckey launches a new range of seating and standing products at Naidex at Alexandra Palace in London, which creates a surge in demand and results in the company expanding its sales from the Northern Ireland market to the national UK market.
1994 - Leckey launches the “Woosh Chair” which creates an immediate impact on the market with its attractive design and bright colours combined with a high degree of functionality.
1994 -1998 - Leckey continues to introduce new products with the Woosh Stander, the Height Adjustable Chair and the Lifting stander. In 1998, two of these products receive Millennium Awards and the company also receives a Northern Ireland Innovation Award.
2001 - The company launches the Leckey Advanced Seat (LAS), Advanced Bath Seat (ABC) and the Leckey Toilet Seat (LTS) and redesigns its remaining core product range to appeal more to the European and USA markets. All the new products are exhibited internationally at the Medtrade exhibition in the USA and at Rehacare in Germany. The new product range meets with international acclaim and sparks worldwide interest in the Leckey brand.
2003 - Leckey launches the Contoured Advance Seat and a new multi purpose standing frame called the Horizon.
2004 - Leckey begins a new product development strategy to replace the company’s existing product line. The new “user centred” approach recognises that the social and developmental needs of the child are different across different ages and the aesthetics, design and function of the products should reflect this.
2005 – The company begins a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the University of Ulster to strengthen and develop the company’s research skills and clinical knowledge. This proves very successful and feeds into Leckey’s product design and clinical training development.
2006 - The first phase of the new product development strategy delivers 13 new products to market, including the Squiggles Early Intervention Range, the Mygo Seating System and the Sleepform Night time lying System. Leckey’s product range can be described as offering 24 hour postural care with its products for sitting, standing, walking, bathing, toileting and sleeping.
2008 – Leckey celebrates its 25 year anniversary with a party for all its employees. It has grown from one man to almost 100 employees, from a garden shed to three factory units and has touched the lives of many children worldwide.
2008-2009 – Based on its KTP project with the University of Ulster, Leckey develops a clinical education programme Leckey “KnowHow”. The programme supports the product development programme and aims to teach the principles of good postural management to therapists, carers and parents to help them understand the clinical design intent behind the new products. The company also starts to publish pioneering evidence based case studies to demonstrate the effectiveness of the company’s products in meeting the therapist’s objectives.
2009 – Leckey adds the instantly popular Kidwalk to its product portfolio in the UK and Ireland markets. The product, which allows children with complex needs to walk without someone helping them, is a hit at exhibitions and demos around the country.
2010 – Leckey extends its product range to include children with low levels of complexity by launching the Pal Classroom Seat.
2010 – Having won the Northern Ireland final of the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) awards, Leckey and the University of Ulster win the UK National KTP Award for their collaborative work. James is also made an Honorary Fellow of the College of Occupational Therapists, the first person from industry to receive this honour.
2010 – The Company introduces the Kit Seating System for teens and adults with complex needs. This is the final phase of the development strategy which began in 2004, and which gives Leckey a product range for all ages – babies, children, teens and adults. Leckey also updates Squiggles and Mygo, adding further features and benefits. Leckey’s new mobility chassis receives widespread acclaim at its launch at the Posture Mobility Group (PMG) Conference in Glasgow.
2012: The company completed its relocation from Kilwee Business Park, Dunmurry to Ballinderry Road, Lisburn to an 80,000ft2 manufacturing / design facility.
2012: Leckey launch the Everyday Activity Seat designed for kids with moderate postural seating needs, and an adult size of the market leading, Horizon Standing frame.
2013: The company launched the award winning Comfee Seat which offered a secure, supportive and practical seating system for children and adults of all ages and abilities, for use in the home or in respite care.
2013: Leckey launch the fully digital Business to Consumer (B2C) business under the FireFly brand, which is dedicated to bringing the end users affordable, innovative products focused on promoting and supporting special needs family participation. The first product offered for online sale by FireFly was the innovative GoTo Seat, which provides a low cost, flexible seating insert for mild-to-moderate postural needs, which could be fitted safely to any standard dining chair, supermarket or bicycle seat.
2014: The company expanded the Firefly brand through the launch of an online forum, “The FireFly Garden” to provide the world’s leading online platform for parents, carers and therapists to share information, provide support and campaign together on issues and products associated with the special needs community.
2014: The FireFly ‘Upsee’ was launched and received unprecedented media coverage and international acclaim, and firmly established the FireFly brand as a market leader in online products for children with special needs.
2014: The company launched Leckey Mobility to sell the companies postural seating systems to the UK wheel chair services. Leckey mobility also secured the exclusive UK and ROI distribution rights for several leading global brands in the Mobility sector, including Ki Mobility and the Medifab Shuttle Discovery Buggy.
2014: Leckey were awarded the exclusive distribution rights in England and Wales for Easystand, a world leader in the development of sit-to-stand products for children and adults with moderate to complex special needs. The company also invested in a new finished goods distribution centre, which went live in October 2014. The distribution centre improved operational efficiency of manufacturing by smoothing demand and leading to a substantial improvement in customer lead times.
2015: The PlayPak, Scooot and Budz were added to the FireFly product range, and a new model of the GoTo Seat, complete with floor sitter, was released.
2015: Leckey Tech was launched to explore the market for high end technology based rehabilitation products. The first products in the Tech range were the Made for Movement 'Innowalk' which is designed to provide rehabilitation therapy through assisted, guided and repetitive movement in an upright weight-bearing position, and the Innovaid 'Happy Rehab' interactive standing support system, for the rehabilitation of gross motor function and cognitive skills.
2016: In March 2016, the company’s new UK sales distribution brand, VIDA Global, was established. The company experienced restructuring of both the product range and the UK sales team. The sales teams were split into specialist’s teams and are known as VIDA OT, VIDA PT and VIDA Mobility.
2016: Following a renegotiation of the EMEA distribution contract with Ottobock, the company took over distribution in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands, and established a direct sales subsidiary, VIDA Global Germany, which commenced trading in March 2016.
2016: Altimate Medical awarded Leckey the distribution rights for Easystand in Scotland and Ireland, making the company the exclusive distributor of the Easystand product line across the UK and ROI.
2016: VIDA Mobility added Patron Mobility to their distribution line, and this provided the division with a wide range of paediatric strollers needed to complete their portfolio offering to the UK WCS and mobility dealer sales channel. The Ki Mobility product line was also expanded with the addition of the Little Wave Flip paediatric wheelchair.
2016: Today, the company, which started out in 1983 as a sole trader, now employs more than 180 people and exports 98% if its products outside Northern Ireland. It is a recognised global leader in the design and manufacture of quality postural support and therapy equipment, that improves the lives of children and adults with disabilities.