Smirthwaite has been designing, manufacturing and selling equipment for children with special needs since 1986. Every product is made to order and given individual care and attention. The people at Smirthwaite are firm believers in well-made products that are easy to use and stand the test of time. Their designs reflect their expertise developed over years of experience. Each product provides numerous clinical benefits while promoting social inclusion and independence.
Husband and wife team 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 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 improve on its postural benefits. That was back in 1976. After Geoff retired in 1986, he was approached about making a chair for a boy with cerebral palsy. With a few modifications to his original design, a chair was presented to the child and, for the first time in the young boy’s life, he was able to sit at the dinner table and have a meal with his family. Shortly after making that chair, Geoff started to not only receive phone calls about their ‘special wooden chair’ but also requests asking if they could make a variety of other wooden products. 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 into full-time work and the creation of a family business!
Today, Smirthwaite products are used and appreciated worldwide. The Juni Chair provides simple, yet effective support for individuals with minimal positioning needs. The seat and back cushions have basic contours to help mimic the body's curves to provide support and comfort. The Smirthwaite Hardrock was designed specifically for children that self-stimulate using vestibular movements (rocking back and forth). And the Portable Hip Spica Chair, is designed for children in Hip Spica and Broomstick Casts and offers a high degree of adjustability as well as being lightweight.