Alex Winstanley, a social entrepreneur from Wigan, has been shortlisted from thousands of nominations, for the Entrepreneur for Good Award category in the Regional Finals of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

Alex has been recognised for the positive impact that his not-for-profit social enterprise, Happy Smiles Training CIC, and his best-selling children’s books has had on communities.

Founded in 2013, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards acknowledges the hard work and inspiring stories of entrepreneurs and businesses in the UK. The Awards have celebrated some outstanding entrepreneurs who have gone on to become household names. Previous winners include the founders of Grenade, Tangle Teezer, The LAD Bible, Clearscore & The Cambridge Satchel Company.

Happy Smiles Training CIC was inspired by Alex’s experiences as a teacher and carer, where he grew tired of seeing disabled people he knew being undervalued and stigmatised. Alongside one of the young men he supported, Alex left his teaching job in 2019 to develop a team of Inclusion Champions, all disabled young adults, and deliver diversity and inclusion training to schools, community groups, businesses and more. The Happy Smiles team have since delivered training to over 3500 children, young people and adults.

On top of this, Alex has written a series of children’s books about a range of long-term health conditions, with his first book, ‘My Grandma Has Dementia’, recently winning a Dementia Hero Award. The books are informed by real people and experiences, written in rhyme and use engaging illustrations by Adam Walker-Parker, to open up conversations about topics such as depression, cancer and cerebral palsy. Alex and his team have since been using the books during their training sessions with children and young people, with all book sales on Amazon directly supporting their work.

Alex said:

“It is an unbelievable honour to have our work recognised on such a scale.

“It is a dream come true – for people to value the important work that we are doing in empowering people with a platform to use their experiences in order to create positive social change.

“Hopefully this recognition will help us to increase the impact that we can have!”

Founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, Francesca James, said:

“We have seen some incredible finalists over the years, and this year is no exception.

“It really is one of the strongest shortlists we’ve ever had, and the fact that so many exceptional people have applied during such a tough year is a testament to the resolve and entrepreneurial talent that exists across the UK.”

For more information about Happy Smiles Training CIC and Alex’s books, go to www.happysmilestraining.co.uk or through Facebook (@happysmilestrainingcic @alexwinstanleyauthor), Twitter (@happysmilescic @alexwauthor) and Instagram (@happysmilestrainingcic @alexwinstanleyauthor).

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