Orkid Ideas was founded in October 2010, the same month that Theo Paphitis (of Ryman Stationery and Dragons’ Den fame) created his Small Business Sunday #SBS initiative on Twitter.
Each week, Theo chooses his favourite small businesses from the thousands that tweet him on a Sunday evening and rewards them by re-tweeting their tweets to his 500k+ followers the following day.
Monday 26th March marked the start of Autism Awareness Week. Autism awareness, understanding and acceptance is close to our hearts at Orkid Ideas; it’s the reason we are even here at all and underpins our passion for TomTag and how it can help individuals with autism cope better with daily life. So it was an especially delightful surprise when Theo chose this Monday to pick Orkid Ideas at the top of his weekly list of six businesses to join the amazing #SBS winners family.
Not only does this mean a boost for us as a business but we hope it has also helped to spread a little more autism awareness to a wider audience.
“It is imperative that you have an idea you really believe in, and you also have to be absolutely determined you can make it work.” – Theo Paphitis
To celebrate our win, we’re offering 20% off any order until 30th April using the code TPSBS at checkout.
Snappy – Special needs activity and play provision for York – has been providing a lifeline to families of children and young people with disabilities for 30 years. Snappy runs Saturday and school holiday play schemes and activities for children and young people up to age 25 who can’t access these kind of opportunities elsewhere and gives parents and carers a much needed and well-earned break as well.
We love the work that all the Snappy team do so when we heard that they were looking for more local businesses to support them by joining their 100 Club, we couldn’t resist snapping up the opportunity!
Here’s Deborah collecting our Club 100 member’s certificate from Snappy himself. The team have so many exciting ideas and plans for the future that we know will make such a difference to the lives of the families they support and we’re proud to be joining them on their journey.
Autism Show Manchester
The Autism Show in Manchester opens its doors on Friday and we’ll be there! Jam packed with speakers, features and the largest selection of autism products and services in the UK. Come along and hear Clare speaking about her family’s experience of using visual supports (Saturday at 10.20am) and visit us on stand B18 for some special show offers. Tickets £17 on the door or £13 in advance – visit The Autism Show website to book.
With an expanding range of products to offer, we felt the time was right to give our website a bit of a make-over. Our new look site makes it easier to see just what TomTag is, how it works and how it can help our customers and their children.
Just in time for summer holidays, we’ve added a new set that can help you prepare for a school trip, holiday, respite stay, visiting relatives or any other overnight stay away from home – I know what to expect going away.
Another new addition – I know what to expect at appointments – is perfect for calming anxieties before appointments at the doctor, dentist, hospital or hairdresser.
Pop over to www.orkidideas.com to see these and all our other lovely products then let us know what you think of the new site or if you’ve any ideas for other products you’d like to see.
Did you know this week is Schools’ Autism Awareness Week?
Orkid Ideas are supporting this campaign, promoted by the National Autistic Society, by offering schools the chance to try a TomTag visual timetable kit completely free.
Our unique visual support tools can be easily personalised for each child and are portable, robust and very convenient to use.
A TomTag I know what to expect at school kit contains a set of colourful tags, click-in buttons and a large selection of symbols that can be combined in many different ways to create personalised visual supports to help pupils with autism in the classroom.
Here’s some examples of how the set can be used:
- list the day’s lesson plan to explain the structure of the school day
- use FIRST and THEN markers with two relevant images to support transitions between activities
- show symbols to describe the steps of a specific task to be completed
- communicate expected rules of behaviour using a symbol list that the child can self refer to
Request your free kit now
Simply send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your school details or give us a call on 01904 213123 and we’ll take care of the rest. Have a browse around the other pages of our website to find more information about this kit and our other visual support packs.
We’re delighted to add a new name to our stockist page – See Me Shine Kids – in Australia!
When Leah got in touch to say how much she loved TomTag, we knew it would be a great fit with her other products and we related to her passion to help children of all abilities reach their full potential.
So if you’re down under and looking to get your hands on TomTag, do stop by first at See Me Shine Kids and see if Leah has any in stock.
Since the first batch of TomTags rolled off the production line back in 2012, we’ve been developing, learning and adapting our products to meet the needs and requirements of our customers.
TomTag has developed beyond ‘the cool tool to help kids pack their bags for school’ that we started out with. Whilst this is still a key product in our range (now one of our “I can do it” sets), the unique design of our tags and buttons opens up many more possibilities for TomTag to be used as a visual schedule, routine support or communication system.
We realised that this meant we needed to find a way to make it easier for our customers to understand how TomTag can work for them and what they need to buy to get started. We now offer a pick and mix option for those who prefer to choose exactly the components they want but we’ve also put together some popular combination sets that include a 10% discount compared to buying the same items individually.
Although we have needed to increase some of our prices, we now offer more flexibility to our customers to be able to purchase the products that specifically meet their needs. We’ve also changed our packaging so that we’re able to use a more economical postal service and we’ve passed this saving on to our customers by reducing our shipping charges.
We truly believe that all our products offer amazing value for money as well as potentially life-changing results – we hope you agree!
Meet the Orkid Ideas team and see all our TomTag products first-hand.
It’s going to be another busy month!
Here are some of the events we’ll be attending. If you know of any other suitable events near you, please let us know.
Thu 2nd Oct
Autism Network Event & Parent Roadshow
The Chitra Sethia Autism Centre, Cambridge
See Parent Roadshow Flyer.doc for more information
Thu 9th Oct
Parents in Partnership Stockport Information Day
Edgeley Park, Stockport
CLICK HERE to register for your free ticket and HERE for more info from PIPS
Fri 10th Oct
Dyspraxia/Developmental Coordination Difficulties awareness day
Tue 14th Oct
Autism Central 2014 – an event to showcase support and services that are available to those on the Autistic spectrum, their families and professionals who support them. FREE to attend and also features a number of seminars throughout the day.
Aston Villa Football Club, Birmingham
MORE INFO HERE events124a
This event is running alongside an NAS Conference – understanding and supporting challenging behaviour in people with autism
In April, we celebrated Autism Awareness Month with a series of blogs from our personal experiences of living with autism.
Firstly we touched on helpful strategies for coping with anxieties in Autism – understanding and managing anxiety, moved on to tips to develop conversation and pragmatic skills in Waiting for others to come to you? and finished off with issues of sensory sensitivity in Sensory strategies for personal care.
We hope you enjoyed these insights and found them useful.
In May, we were thrilled to be invited to exhibit with Disability North at their first ever Paediatric Open Day in Newcastle. What a friendly bunch they all were!