Starfish Labs, along with associated company Hunter Bevan, recently hosted a high profile visit from healthcare professionals from Dubai. The visit came about through international marketing work in the healthcare and special educational needs sectors that Neil Bevan, Director, is currently working on, supported by the Department for International Trade team based at Shropshire Chamber.


As fellow Shropshire Chamber member Derwen College’s Industry Champion, Neil was keen to involve Derwen, a specialist residential college based in Gobowen, in the visit of Dr Latifa, Head of People of Determination, Dubai Health Authority and her husband Dr Mohammed.


The visit provided an opportunity to highlight areas of work within the specialist education field and compare models of care and curriculum for students with Special Educational Needs in both the UK and in Dubai.


Starfish Labs Hunter Bevan Derwen College visit picture


Pictured are Karen George, Director Care and Clinical Therapies at Derwen College, Dr Latifa, Dr Mohammed, and Neil Bevan of Starfish Labs/Hunter Bevan.


Tonia Davies, Marketing and Communications Manager at Derwen College said, “We were delighted to host the visit to showcase the work of Derwen College and for the opportunity to forge relationships with specialist providers and professionals. Dr Latifa showed great interest in areas around our curriculum, work placement opportunities and how students worked on their independence skills. The visit was a great example of partnership working facilitated through Shropshire Chamber Business networking opportunities.”


Following lunch served by students in Derwen’s Orangery Restaurant, the delegation moved on to visit another client, The Movement Centre, based at the RJAH Hospital – a specialist NHS Orthopaedic hospital.


Starfish Labs visit to The Movement Centre


Pictured are Sarah Bew, Physiotherapist at The Movement Centre, Dr Latifa, Dr Mohammed, Vicky Handbury-Madin, CEO of The Movement Centre and Neil Bevan of Starfish Labs/Hunter Bevan.


The Movement Centre has pioneered a therapy called Targeted Training, a combination of physiotherapy and biomechanics, to help children with movement disabilities to gain head and body control. The visitors met with Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist, Sarah Bew and CEO Vicky Handbury-Madin, who said, “We were delighted to welcome Dr Latifa and Dr Mohammed to The Movement Centre and to be able to demonstrate the effectiveness of Targeted Training. They were particularly impressed with the success rate the therapy enjoys, and I am sure we will be having further discussions on sharing best practice in the future”.


Neil Bevan says, “The visit was a great success, and having visited Dubai on many occasions it was great to be able to host Dr Latifa and Dr Mohammed on home territory and to show them the world-class pioneering work for people with learning difficulties and disabilities that is being done here in Shropshire. We were able to demonstrate some of the apps to support learning that we have developed in this sector, and we’re looking forward to forging further links with Dubai Health Authority and independent colleges and clinics in the UAE as the relationship develops.”




Enjoying the walled garden at Derwen College


The visitors from the UAE enjoyed seeing the Shropshire countryside, the novelty of torrential rain, Whittington Castle, and seeing green fields with sheep grazing!