Blog » Building commercial partnerships
Working with Orchard Toys
Norfolk Industries not only operates as a commercial business but also provides work placement and employment opportunities to people who have various barriers to work such as disability, long term unemployment, homelessness or anxiety/depression.
In order to provide a realistic working environment, we try to find work tasks which are suitable for our work placement candidates, and whilst we have the production lines in place for our pet bedding products, this is not always ideal work for everyone.
As such, in November 2017 we noticed that Orchard Toys were recruiting temporary staff for the Christmas rush. We emailed Orchard Toys to make them aware of our packing and collating abilities and the response was, ‘we’re interested, but need to get Christmas sorted first!’.
As such, discussions started in the New Year and by mid-January 2018 we had received a delivery from Orchard Toys and had 3 members of staff over to show us the task and clarify the Quality Control requirements. Our work packing Orchard Toys bestselling game Shopping List had started!
Our people on work placements and a particular member of staff really loved the work and they were also very good at it.
Over the period January 2018 to July 2018 Norfolk Industries successfully packed 100,000 units with no quality control errors whatsoever. This was celebrated with a visit to Orchard Toys on 17th July 2018 which our volunteers really enjoyed.
The relationship has continued to build, and we are now packing Tell The Time as well as all of the Shopping List games. Shopping List is Orchard Toys best seller product line, so we feel very honored to be packing this for them.
It is wonderful to work with a customer who produces products for children, but which are also used by young people and adults with learning difficulties. So, to be able to state that they are also packed by people with disabilities is a great accolade for Orchard Toys!
The products are bright and interesting which also helps in the engagement of the people in the factory and we have also been given some games from Orchard Toys which we are able to use within our service delivery.
All in all, what started out as an enquiry for work has turned into a great working relationship both commercially but also ethically.