Grant funding supports start-up business in personalised embroidery

A Thread of Hope is a small Doncaster business set up in March 2022 offering personalised embroidery services.

Lesley Berner-Hope, business owner wanted to start her own business so she could work flexibly around caring for her children as her two boys have autism and learning difficulties, and she found that she could no longer work a 9-5 job and care for her children at the same time.

“I was lucky that my previous employer let me work from home when I needed to, but eventually I couldn’t work full-time anymore, and I needed to transition my career into something that would fit around my personal circumstances” she said

Lesley wanted to learn new skills and hone her creative side to design products that would bring happiness to others, as well as incorporate some of her personal interests such as dogs and horses. Lesley found that many of her friends and family members had pets they wanted to encapsulate within embroidery. Lesley had never done embroidery before so this was a big learning curve.  

The business offers personalised embroidery to small businesses looking for custom uniforms and the public wanting something special for themselves or their beloved pet. Embroidery can be offered on items that are already owned as well as ones sourced by herself.

Soon after setting up her business, Lesley realised the expense of running her own business were quickly adding up. She was not able to start anything without a machine to design and create the products, so she approached the Launchpad programme for business support.

Launchpad encouraged Lesley to get involved with a number of the start-up courses available from which she gained valuable information and advice whilst also developing a close friendship with another client setting up their own business in Doncaster.

Lesley was fortunate to receive funding from the Business Doncaster Enterprise Chest Grant scheme that enabled her to launch a website and start generating sales.

The Enterprise Chest Grant Scheme aims to inspire and create entrepreneurial activity, funded by the Community Renewal Fund. The scheme supports new entrepreneurs in starting up their business as part of Business Doncaster’s Innovation and Enterprise project.

Lesley used the Grant to create a website and marketing materials for her business in order to generate a name for herself and to look more professional.

As for the future, Lesley would like to grow her business, potentially even to the point where she could employ another person. However, for the growth to be at a steady pace, so she can always keep up with customer demands. 

For more information, please visit:

Business Start Up Support:

Launchpad Doncaster provides fully funded support to Individuals and businesses in Doncaster and the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority.

It is a fully inclusive programme designed to help ambitious entrepreneurs set up, run and grow successful businesses it also supports businesses (with less than 10 employees and less than £10m Turnover) to take the next step and grow their business.

To find out what support is available for business start ups please click the link below:


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