Norfolk Industries for Disabled People

100% Recycled and
Fibre Pet Bedding Products
Order line: 01603 667957


Norfolk Industries History

old pic 2

  • The workshop started up in 1908 under the name of Norwich Blind Institution.
  • Norfolk County Council took over the workshop in 1980 and changed the title to Norfolk Industries for the Blind.  We were a small factory producing mats, wire work items and general trades including toiletries, paper collating services and packaging services.
  • People with disabilities, particularly sight impairments, have always been employed in all areas of the business.  Norfolk Industries’ ultimate remit is to provide ‘meaningful work’ for disadvantaged people in the local community.
  • The factory 
  • moved to the current site in 1984.
  • First products produced on this site where mats, wire work and general trades.
  • Norfolk Industries became part of the Adult Social Services Department and was funded by Norfolk County Council with a non profit making budget.
  • The mat department was closed down but Wire Work remained and became the major income generator for many years.  Products included golf equipment, shop fittings, heater guards and medical supplies.
  • The general trades department gradually evolved into the pet product side of the business during the 1990’s and a carding machine was introduced into the factory in 1993.  This machine was free issued from a customer, and a few years later we purchased it for a small sum.  This enabled Norfolk Industries to market viscose products to other customers in the marketplace.
  • The current carding machine was sourced in a similar way and purchased by ourselves in 2007.  This machine has since been completely refurbished over the last 18 months.
  • In 1992, Action for Blind People took over the management of Norfolk Industries in order to secure the future of the factory.  This agreement ensures that responsibility is divided between the parties ensuring continued monitoring and support in all areas.
  • old pic 1We operate in the commercial market in order to supplement our budget and to provide work experience services for our disabled employees in order to develop them towards unsupported employment.
  • Employees are paid well above the minimum wage and have very good terms and conditions of service. 
  • Norfolk Industries has its own Union representation and all employees are heavily involved in the running of all aspects of the business, including Health and Safety, recruitment, development, finances, performance feedback on all levels, quality, ISO9001 and internal auditing. 
  • Norfolk Industries works within Norfolk County Council policies such as bullying and harassment, disciplinary procedures, lone working procedures, equal opportunities, recruitment and selection, industrial and employee relations.             
  • The work Norfolk Industries produces is to a very high standard and we are fully compliant with ISO9001. 
  • In late 2011, the business was evaluated by Norfolk County Council with a view to becoming a financially sustainable business.  The Wire Workshop was closed down and considerable support and project work carried out to remodel the Pet Bedding side of the business.
  • During 2012 total rebranding of the business took place and the remodelling phase was completed.
  • Formal re-launch of the new business was in December 2012.
  • The current product range includes –
  • Viscose products such as multi coloured packs, value packs, individual colours, our own product Snooze.
  • Shredded paper products such as 10kg bales, flakes for smaller animals, jay cloth products, recycled newsprint paper products etc.
  • Snooze Tubes complete with nesting materials
  • November 2013 - Externalised from Norfolk County Council into a Community Interest Company called Independence Matters.
  • March 2017 - Animal Houses developed
  • Late 2017 - first animal houses sold
  • September 2017 - First trade show exhibit, GLEE Birmingham
  • 2018 - re-brand of business and products for re-launch at PATS Sandown