Leading Sheffield-based postural support specialist, Jenx, has announced the retirement of company co-founders Clive and Catherine Jenkins.
The entrepreneurial couple, who formed Jenx Ltd in the cellar of their Walkley home in 1982, are widely known as ‘pioneers in their field’ after establishing the Hillsborough-based firm as a benchmark-setter in its industry during their time at the helm.
During their careers, Clive and Catherine made an “outstanding contribution” to helping transform thousands of children’s lives with life-changing – and often live-saving – high quality postural support equipment and advice.
The couple’s vision for Jenx was for “a better life and a brighter future for children with special needs”, and almost four decades after its establishment, the company has developed into an internationally renowned market leader which employs more than 200 staff.
Jenx’s development was widely overseen by Clive and Catherine, an engineer and special needs physiotherapist respectively. The company has expanded (and moved premises as a result) six times due to expansion, relocating to its current headquarters on Wardsend Road since 2001.
While continually enhancing and innovating the services and guidance provided to families of children with often complex disabilities, Jenx has also established itself as a destination employer which is able to adapt and change its service offering to suit the changing needs of its network of children, families and therapists.
This has been particularly prevalent during the Covid-19 pandemic, with Jenx offering innovative, adapted services to ensure that the children and families it provides with vital postural support and advice can continue to access help when they have needed it.
Clive Jenkins said: “At times like this it almost feels as though you can’t do it (retire) as you don’t want to just walk away, but it’s important for Jenx as a company to adapt and change and to allow the next generation to refresh things and move the business forward.
“Our product design has always very much been based around giving the child opportunities and skills that nature hasn’t given them naturally – the children and the needs of the children are essential to Jenx and they’re what it’s all about.
“I also see our products as tools which enable therapists to treat and work easier with children. Now we distribute products from a number of companies, but always with the children in mind and how therapists can work with them.”
Catherine continued: “We wanted to create a great place to work, so that people who work with us enjoy what they’re doing and they know that they’re doing a worthwhile job. We want our staff to enjoy the time they spend at work and they’re encouraged to train and improve themselves if they want to.
“We look after children, but we also consider parents and therapists as they need products that are attractive, they want to use and that are easy to use. What I’d love is for every child in Sheffield to say, ‘I’d love to work at Jenx when I leave school’. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
“Jenx has every intention of being the company it can be in the future – the best company that it can be.”
Holly Jenkins, Director of Jenx’s UK Distribution Division, Jiraffe, will spearhead a new management team at the Sheffield-based firm alongside fellow Director, Dan Limb.
Holly said: “Clive and Catherine deserve to be proud of what they created on so many different levels, including for the thousands of children and their families worldwide whose lives have been impacted positively, and also the people who work for us now and in the past and their families as well.
“They have been fantastic really in the way they’ve transitioned the company over the new leadership, we’ve always felt very supported and never felt bad when we had new ideas.
“Both divisions of the company – Jenx and our UK distribution division, Jiraffe – are performing better now than ever, which is fantastic to see and is something everyone who works for us can be proud of. It’s something I’m really proud of, and proud to continue.”