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  • Orbis Education and Care launches Orbay e-commerce outlet for adults & children with autism

    Orbis Education and Care has launched its very own online shop – called ‘Orbay’ – selling products created by the learners that it works to support.

    Orbis is one of the UK’s providers of specialist schools and homes supporting children and adults with complex needs associated with autism, with its new online shop selling items lovingly crafted by learners who attend its Academy Living programme.

    Academy Living offers real-world, hands-on experiential learning of life and work skills in various community settings, including at a shop, kitchen, café, office space and laundrette, situated at two high street centres run by Orbis in Porth and Morriston, Swansea.

    Now learners on the programme are also being supported to create wax melts, soap, resin art and key rings before selling them through the Orbis’ own online shop, ‘Orbay’, before reinvesting all of their profits in materials that will help others to continue producing additional items.

    ‘Orbay’ is the brainchild of Head of Academy Living, Georgia Lubrani. She said: “We have had products for sale in The Orbs in Porth and Swansea for some time, but after Covid we found that the footfall has decreased, and I thought it would be a good idea to launch an online shop so people who can’t visit The Orb still have an opportunity to buy some of the items instead.

    “It gives the individuals a chance to learn about the whole commerce process, from creating things like soap and candles, to using computer skills to put the item online and then make sure they are delivered. They can also take photos and even do video listings too.”

    Learners supported by the Academy Living initiative are also working in garden centres and restaurants, attending vocational courses, delivering training, attending job interviews and working at Orbis’ own high street branches of The Orb as well.

    Those now also learning real life skills through the creation and sale of items through ‘Orbay’ are involved in every step of the process, from creation to postage and packaging.

    Lubrani, who is based in Cardiff, said she is also hoping that learners creating the products will have the chance to sell their wares at local craft shows in the future as well.

    “We really hope ‘Orbay’ will give family and friends who can’t visit The Orb the chance to buy some lovely products and give something back to our learners who are selling them at the same time,” she added.

    “We’re really proud of all those who have worked behind the scenes, especially our wonderful learners here at Orbis Education and Care, that have worked so hard to create such a valuable and worthwhile asset that will bring benefit to learners on our Academy Living programme for years to come.”

    Orbis Education and Care’s online shop ‘Orbay’ can be found on etsy.me/3abQc4h.


    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien

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