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Technology company inspired by grandmother honoured with prestigious Queen’s Award and trip to Buckingham Palace

A technology company inspired by a staunchly independent grandma to create pioneering services which allow older people daily contact while retaining a high level of personal freedom has been honoured with a Queen’s Award For Enterprise for Innovation.

James Batchelor, from Kendal, founded Alertacall in 2004 when he created technology to keep his 86-year-old grandmother Eveline and others like her safe by allowing them to easily confirm they were safe each day or otherwise receive a call from a friendly, specially trained person.

The company’s technologies have since helped tens of thousands of older people to retain their independence, saved many lives and are also now used to modernise sheltered housing schemes nationwide with features that include video-calling.


Alertacall’s excellent work has been formally recognised as one of the very few organisations nationally to receive the prestigious Queen’s Award today (Thursday, April 21).

The Queen’s Award for Enterprise are the highest accolade awards for UK businesses recognising and celebrating business excellence, with Alertacall demonstrating outstanding success in innovation.

James said: “Alertacall was inspired by a desire to help my grandmother be as independent as she wanted to be, while balancing that with our need as a family to ensure she was safe.

“It’s a joy to see those ideas I created for her go on to help thousands of other people – and now for out team to have been honoured with the most prestigious award any business could wish to receive, the Queen’s Award for Enterprise. Receiving this is the icing on the cake.

“What’s particularly great about the Queen’s Award is that there is a rigorous evaluation process; we’ve answered hundreds of questions and follow-up questions – and the assessment panel has done lots of its own research on us. It really is a proper award for doing something great.

“Thank you to all our amazing team members, all our private customers and all the housing providers that use our services, because we couldn’t have done this without you.”

Dame Esther Rantzen has long been a supporter of the company and said that it was right that Alertacall has received a Queen’s Award for its amazing work over the years.

Dame Esther said: “It is wonderful to see Alertacall win the top business award, the prestigious Queen’s Award.

“I have seen this company in action and I am hugely impressed by the sensitive and professional way they support older people, enabling them to stay safe, stay independent and provide their families with the reassurance that all is well.

“I have known the founder CEO, James Batchelor, for many years, and have always admired the way he and his team are focused on creating technology that increases human contact for people who need it and they perfectly understand their role in using technology for good. Amazing work, and genuinely award-winning!”


Alertacall employs team members from all across the UK, with offices located in Windermere, as well as in Warrington, Cheshire.


Founded in 2004 Alertacall helps as many people as possible feel safe, connected and informed using ingenious technology and contact with people who care.

Alertacall employs around 100 people and was founded by James Batchelor, the original inventor of the “I am okay” button. He was inspired by Eveline, his own staunchly independent grandmother and her desire to remain in her own home for as long as possible.

The company now improves the lives of tens of thousands of people and has won many awards. It works in partnership with dozens of organisations in housing, health and social care and has many private customers.

Eveline, James’ grandmother – who inspired his creation of Alertacall was a village shop keeper for much of her life, and a B+B operator up until her early eighties. After the death of 2 husbands – the first of whom was detained as a Prisoner of War in WW2, she learned to drive in her late 50s, travelled the world on her own and was an inspiration to many with her grit and determination to live on her own, and under her own terms for as long as possible.