OG Toby Sutton receives OBE

Congratulations to OG Toby Sutton (T 1989 – 94) on receiving an OBE in the New Year Honours List.

Co-founders of one of the UK’s leading assistive technology companies, Scanning Pens, were both honoured with an OBE on Friday 30th December. Jack Churchill and Toby Sutton received this honour as a result of ‘services to international trade, and to the dyslexia, and special educational needs and disabilities community’.

Over the last 20 years, Jack Churchill – who himself is dyslexic and Toby Sutton have built an assistive technology powerhouse at the heart of the dyslexia and special needs communities. Scanning Pens is an organisation that provide portable text-to-speech pen scanners which empower young and adult readers by giving them the tool to instantly access printed text anywhere.

This assistive technology is now used daily by thousands of schools, in the workplace, and even in prisons. The organisation has for many years been active both in the UK and in more than 100 countries. More than 50% of the company’s business is attributed to international trade; this success has been reflected in two BETT award wins: Exporter of the Year 2019, and Company of the Year 2020. In 2021, Scanning Pens received the most prestigious accolade in British business when it received The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.

The recipients made a shared statement: “To say we are honoured by this announcement is an understatement. When we first started this venture over 20 years ago, we saw the opportunity to establish a business that could help millions of individuals with their literacy needs. Looking back, it is fantastic to know that through our technology we have supported so many to succeed. The success of Scanning Pens has allowed us to establish a goodwill organisation, Succeed With Dyslexia, which has made a reality of our wish to spread awareness around dyslexia through positive stories within this often-forgotten community. Without the support of our families and the whole team, neither of us would be receiving an OBE today. We look forward to many years ahead as we drive our business forward, whilst at the same time helping even more individuals in their daily lives.”