WGU students named finalists in StartUp Awards

A social enterprise company set up by two Wrexham Glyndwr University (WGU) students has been named as a finalist in the Wales StartUp Awards.

Karen Williams and Roxanne France-Barton, who are co-founders of non-profit, social enterprise, Familiarisation Videos, are current students on WGU’s Mental Health and Wellbeing degree.

The company has been nominated in the Creative StartUp of the Year category.

Familiarisation Videos create detailed tour videos of venues and public spaces to help reduce anxiety and minimise barriers people may face when going somewhere new or unfamiliar. Their videos include all features throughout a venue from car park or drop off point right through to toilets, fire exits, sensory input, and accessibility features.


Karen, Familiarisation Videos co-founder, said: “It’s a true honour to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award.

“We at Familiarisation Videos have worked passionately and tirelessly to improve accessibility through detailed tour videos and to be recognised for all the hard work is fantastic. We aim to reduce anxiety and minimise barriers people face when going somewhere new or unfamiliar.

“Making the finals of the Wales Start-Up Awards will have a great impact on the business. We want to wish all others who have been shortlisted, the best of luck in the finals.”


Karen has thanked WGU lecturers for their support and encouragement since launching Familiarisation Videos.

She said: “Launching Familiarisation Videos while studying has been a bit of a balancing act at times but our tutors are so incredibly supportive, they go absolutely above and beyond for us.

“They’re all extremely approachable and have been there any time we’ve had any questions with Familiarisation Videos, even encouraging us to utilise the social enterprise within our learning.

“The programme is challenging at times academically and because the nature of the degree it can evoke strong emotions. However, we have loved every minute and wouldn’t change a thing. I don’t think Familiarisation Videos would exist in this way if it wasn’t for the course.”


Justine Mason, WGU Senior Lecturer in Mental Health and Wellbeing, added: “A huge congratulations to Karen, Roxanne and the team at Familiarisation Videos for being named a finalist in the Wales StartUp Awards.

“I know how hard they have worked to get the company up and running – particularly alongside their studies, so to be recognised in this way is true testament to their determination. It’s always extremely pleasing to see our Mental Health and Wellbeing students do such amazing things for the benefit of others in our community.”


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