A FORMER teacher who survived two strokes is pursuing his dream of a technology hub in the Wrexham community.

Nick Dudderidge, 50, from Croes Eneurys, Wrexham, founded DesignED Technologies, which aims to improve digital creativity in children.

He pitched his business idea to HRH Prince Andrew at the Pitch@Palace event in Wrexham on July 11 along with 17 other hopeful entrepreneurs.

Although Mr Dudderidge did not get through to the next round of the competition, he is still hopeful that his business will attract the attention of potential investors and business connections.

Speaking at the Pitch@Palace event, he said: “I’m teaching my sons digital technology at home, but I think they should be immersed in it more at school.

“I’m looking for premises where people can create and learn about programming, computer numerical control (CNC), robotics and anything else about technology.

“I want to spread it to as many people as I can, not only high schools but primary schools too because children should have full access to technology and start to be creative and hands on."

Mr Dudderidge used to teach product design at King's School in Chester, and he is determined to not let strokes stop him from teaching again.

He suffered his first stroke in February 2017 and the second in February 2018.

He said: “The first thing I remember about having the stroke was I couldn’t swallow.

“I went to the fridge at 3am for a drink but I couldn’t drink it and then I lost feeling in the left side of my body.

“I was taken to hospital and they released me after five days and I recovered.

“The second time it happened I was going into the Bovington tank museum in Dorset.

“It was a Sunday morning and we had just started going in when I started sweating.

“I realised what was happening and said to my wife, ‘you’d better call for help’.

“I was in hospital in Dorset for eight days, but I discharged myself because I was missing my kids.

“Nobody wanted to let me go because I was in a bad way.

“My wife nearly killed me and said, ‘you’d better not leave the hospital’ but I was already at the train station.

“She picked me up and she was so angry she didn’t talk to me for the rest of the journey, and I ended up going back to A and E in Wrexham.

“I didn’t realise I was so stubborn until that.”

Mr Dudderidge still feels the effects of the strokes, saying he finds it hard to multi-task.

Men’s Shed, a place to practice skills and enjoy making and mending in the company of others, played a pivotal role in his rehabilitation.

He explained: “I offered to do eight hours volunteer teaching at Ty Pawb for Stephen Matthias who is from Gwersyllt Men’s Shed.

“I said I could teach the men about technology and started showing them robotics.”

Mr Dudderidge is now Chairman of Gresford Men's Shed, which is due to open in September this year with the help of Nigel Davies from Avow.

An XYZ (3D) printer was donated to the Men's Shed at Gresford Sports and Social Club by Little Sandbox which offers technology workshops in Liverpool.

Mr Dudderidge, is positive about his projects and says he won’t let his previous strokes stop him from fulfilling his dream of a digital future in the Wrexham community.

He added: “I want to take technology to the community where everyone can access it, so my aim is to have centres which can be accessed at all times, in Wrexham to begin with.

“It’s about breaking down the barriers and getting everybody working together, that’s my mission.”