We have been designing, manufacturing and selling equipment for children and young people with special needs since 1986. Every product is made to order and given individual care and attention from the day it arrives to the day it leaves the factory and beyond…
We are firm believers in well-made products that are easy to use and, importantly, can stand the test of time. For added convenience we have produced product user guides and videos which are available to download.
Our products come in a variety of amazing colours to brighten up any child’s room (or to simply to allow them to choose and enjoy their favourite colour chair, for example).
We have a very close relationship with therapists, children and parents which helps us to establish exactly what is required from our products. Our designs reflect this expertise and provide numerous clinical benefits while promoting social inclusion and independence.
Our dedicated team are always on hand to work with you, your therapist and your child to find the very best solution to their needs. Where required we can also make bespoke changes to our products to suit your child’s exact requirements (longer lead times and additional costs will apply).
Please contact us if you need further assistance.
Much of the equipment available for special needs children is complex, difficult to use and expensive to maintain. We think that’s wrong and believe we have challenged this approach with our unique easy to use modular designs.
Husband and wife duo Geoff and Sheila Smirthwaite were the founders of Smirthwaite Ltd in the UK and pioneers in the development of special needs furniture and equipment.
During Geoff Smirthwaite’s time as a craft, design and technology teacher he mentored one of his students on a project to design a wooden chair. As the project progressed, he saw great potential in the chair and started to examine and exploit the postural benefits. This chair was designed and created back in 1976.
After Geoff retired in 1986, he was approached by a branch of SCOPE in Welwyn who asked if he could make a chair for a boy with cerebral palsy. With a few modifications to his original design, a bespoke chair was presented to the child and, for the first time in the young boy’s life, he was able to sit at the dining table and have a meal with his family.
Shortly after making the chair for SCOPE, Geoff and his wife Sheila started to not only receive phone calls about their ‘special wooden chair’ but also requests from Conductive Education centres asking if they could make a variety of wooden products, such as plinths and ladder back chairs. As news spread about Geoff and Sheila’s ability to collaborate with parents, therapists and children to provide special needs products, the demand rapidly increased. What was initially intended as a retirement hobby soon turned in to full-time work and the creation of a family business.
In 1986 Geoff and Sheila formed G&S Smirthwaite (now Smirthwaite Ltd). We are proud of our history and our products are now sold and used by children worldwide.
Sadly, Geoff passed away in October 2010 but his legacy lives on and his passion for customer collaboration is still the focus and the catalyst of the company today.