AN INVENTOR is hoping his comfortable crutch cushioning will leave its users on cloud nine.

Barry Sandbank, 49, of Penny Cottage, Cryers Lane, Mickle Trafford, a project manager for Manchester-based cell therapy company Intercytex, dreamed up “C9” after a friend hurt his ankle and needed crutches. After a few days his hands became blistered from the materials the crutches were made of, but was told there was no solution.

“A friend said he had been told to wrap some cowling around the crutch handles and we thought there must be a better product,” said Barry, who is married to Fiona and has two children, Stuart, six, and Amy, 11 months.

“It really makes a difference. We thought it was like walking on cloud nine when you used it so we abbreviated the name to ‘C9’.

“It has taken about four years but we have just ordered our first 100 products which have been made by a company in Nottingham. It has been a long haul and we went through lots of different prototypes. We chose to make it bright orange so it stands out.

“You can buy one on its own, two for two crutches, elbow supports or a set of all four. The wrapping is washable so it can be reused. They can make a difference for anyone who is a crutch user.

“I have got a creative background and have invented things through my work, medical products and hospital products.”

C9 is available from £10.99, for more information visit, or ring 01296 331739.