Case Studies

Michael Bonney Consulting

Michael Bonney was paralysed from the neck down when he came off his bike while participating in the Eden Valley Epic in 2013.

Now confined to a wheelchair, breathing with the aid of a ventilator, he is by any standards severely disabled.

That hasn’t stopped the 58-year-old, of Eamont Bridge near Penrith, from starting his own business.

The allowance gives me an income so I don’t have to rely on unemployment benefits.

Previously, he ran Orange Mountain Bikes, based in Halifax. His new venture, Michael Bonney Consulting, counts a bike parts distributor in Cambridge and a cycling events company in Fort William among its clients.

He said: “It ticks along and gives me an income so I don’t have to rely on unemployment benefits.

“The reality is I can’t do a 9-5 job but I can manage three or four hours a day. I’d like to work more but you have to accept the limitations of a broken body.”

When he started the business two years ago, Michael went on to the New Enterprise Allowance scheme.

He said: “The money enabled us to get me to trade shows. The best way I can demonstrate to potential clients what I can do for them is to meet face to face.

“I have to have a hospital bed in my hotel room and two support workers to look after me. So I have to cover their costs too.”

He added: “My life now is mental stimulation. Everything is about what you’re thinking. I enjoy lying in bed at night trying to solve a problem.”