Robert William Frank Griffin, Founder and MD of Tomcat SNI Ltd, has been awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in recognition of his remarkable contributions to engineering and his unwavering dedication to improving the lives of people with disabilities. This prestigious honour celebrates Robert (Bob) Griffin’s pioneering work in creating life-changing innovations, most notably within the field of disabled cycling.

Bob’s journey to this accolade is a testament to his passion and commitment to making cycling accessible to all. His first groundbreaking invention, the Carer Control™ system, designed in 1997, has revolutionised the cycling experience for thousands of individuals worldwide for over two decades. Before this innovation, families with special needs children faced immense challenges, often having to run alongside their child’s trike, struggling to steer and ensure safety. Bob’s Carer Control™ system transformed this scenario, allowing disabled children and later adults, to explore the world outside their door in a controlled and safe manner.
Bob’s passion for finding a solution to a challenge didn’t stop at the Carer Control™ system. His subsequent designs have opened countless opportunities for individuals with a disability or mobility condition, enabling greater independence and freedom. Many of his innovations have been adopted by manufacturers worldwide, demonstrating the far-reaching impact of his work. Under Bob’s leadership, his company, Tomcat, continues to thrive through a steadfast commitment to innovation and exceptional customer service.

In response to the award, Bob expressed his gratitude and humility: “A few things came together for me in 1997. A job I didn’t like, the want to help my disabled son Tom achieve more in life, a chance to challenge my engineering skills and a glimpse of how the less able can become more able, once given the chance.” He continued,
“I took the plunge and walked through an open door into a world where everyone was grateful for your help, or wanted to help you in what you were doing through their knowledge and skill. Sometimes easy, sometimes difficult, the journey has always been its own reward, but to receive this MBE in recognition of that journey is undoubtedly the proudest moment of my life and a tribute to so many others who’ve been with me along the way.”

Mike Dawson, the previous Chief Executive at Tewkesbury Borough Council, was one of Gloucestershire’s leading people who supported Robert Griffin’s nomination for a national honour. Mike commented,

“Bob’s contributions to both engineering and the disabled community are truly outstanding. He has built one of Tewkesbury Borough’s and Gloucestershire’s most successful businesses winning not just one, but two prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise along the way. His inventions have brought joy and freedom to so many, he is an amazing man, and this MBE is a well-deserved acknowledgement of his tireless efforts and remarkable achievements.”

Bob and Tom

Bob taking Tom for a ride


As we celebrate Robert Griffin’s MBE, we are reminded of the profound impact that innovative thinking and dedication can have on our communities. His work serves as an inspiring example of how innovative engineering and putting the customer’s interests first can come together to change lives for the better.