AN inventor is looking to expand his business across the continent and double the number of staff as he uproots to Kendal.

James Batchelor set up Alertacall, aimed at vulnerable and elderly people, after a gust of wind blew his 86-year-old grandmother off her feet in 2005.

And after eight years based on Main Road, Grange-over-Sands, the married father-of-one is moving his business to Kendal following a boom in sales.

The 36-year-old, originally from Yorkshire, said over the next year he expected the business to grow ten fold.

“When I founded it, I don't mind saying, a lot of people thought I was bonkers and told me it wouldn't work,” he said.

“But, I've kept at it, because it does work extremely well, and I was right to. We now have a few thousand customers and are growing.”

The idea came after Mr Batchelor’s grandmother Eveline Smith broke one of her arms in several places and family members became concerned for her well-being.

The system works whereby the user presses a button at an agreed time every day to signal they are well. If the person fails to press the button the system will attempt to contact the user on the phone.

If that proves unsuccessful Alertacall will dial nominated friends or family to alert them to the fact that there may be a problem.

“It is designed for people who may have become unwell during the night or perhaps fallen on their way to the toilet,” said Mr Batchelor.

“It allows them to get on with their day - if they don't press the button we call them, offer them friendship, help and support. “This puts them in total control of the level of contact they'd like and gives them the freedom to get on with their day without family worrying.”

As part of the move he is looking to recruit around 10 members of staff to deal with an increase in demand.

Mr Batchelor highlighted the ageing world population, and the issues this is bringing. He said: “Countries are now thinking of how to support people to remain in their own homes for as long as possible.”