Category Archives: About the Rompa Team

Emergency Services Event

Children Enjoying the Sensory Bus

Our friends at Sparkle Sheffield invited us along to their Emergency Services Event at the Lifewise Centre  on Sunday and we had a brilliant time!

What was the Emergency Services Event?

For people with autism, the emergency services can be scary and resemble bad experiences. This could lead to them not approaching  police officers or fireman for help which could lead to dangerous situations . The Emergency Services event was organised by Sparkle to build bridges between the emergency services and people who have autism. We’re pleased to say it was a massive success! The children were dressing up as police officers, being shown around a police car and fire engine (and trying out the sirens!), exploring the fantastic set of the Lifewise centre and of course enjoying the sensory bus!

Who are Sparkle Sheffield?

Started by parents of autistic children, Sparkle Sheffield exists to help families with autistic children meet the challenges they face, feel less isolated, less frightened and more empowered. Autism affects families in different ways but only the parent of an autistic child can truly understand what life is like for us.

Find out More on their website:


Welcoming Ryan to the Business Development Team

Rompa has taken on a number of apprentices in the last few months and the most recent addition is Ryan who has joined Rompa’s Business Development Team.

Ryan SmythI joined Rompa’s Business Development Team as a Business Admin Apprentice in January 2015. I was nervous as this was only my second job and I had grown used to the working environment of my previous employer, but the Rompa staff couldn’t have treated me better. Everyone was extremely helpful and approachable in my first few days, and that helped me to settle quickly.

On my first day I spend a little bit of time in each department learning how all the cogs in the Rompa machine worked. This was really helpful as I didn’t have a great knowledge of sensory equipment beforehand, but after everyone had explained to me how their department worked, it all began to make sense.

I have always been interested in working in business development, and when I saw this opportunity at Rompa, I knew it was too good to ignore. Being on the apprenticeship allows me to learn more about the industry whilst actually experiencing first hand work on the job, that paired with the knowledge of my colleagues really helps me to understand and develop my skills in this sector.

Since I started at Rompa I’ve been given lots of independence in my role, I already had experience of working in administration but different projects I’ve been given such as competitor and partner analysis has helped me to develop new skills to add to my CV. The variety of tasks I’ve been given is keeping the job really interesting and allowing me to learn every day.

I think the kind nature of all the staff and the positive impact we have on people’s lives on a daily basis, makes Rompa a very rewarding company to work for.

Karaoke Rompa Christmas Party

Rompa Christmas PartyIt’s that time of year when colleagues and co-workers congregate in a function room to celebrate the achievements of the past year and have a drink or two.

The 5:30 start at the Proact Stadium is quite early and has been known to catch out even the most seasoned party goer. Having not paced myself particularly well last year and overindulged somewhat, I was hoping to learn from my past mistakes and looking forward to watching others make some. Despite my best intentions I still found myself belting out a Pogues tune at 10 o’clock.

The pass the parcel was a hit. Each layer contained another novelty item such as Dame Edna Glasses or a neon wig. The prize at the centre was an extra day of annual leave. Thanks very much Donna!

Highlights for me were Graham letting go and having a dance to Erasure in his fetching Man City Rudolph jumper, Cass doing the “running man” in stilettoes and Leila’s rendition of All I Want for Christmas (is you) with backing volcals provided by Graham, Emma and Cass. There was a very positive vibe to the evening and everyone had a great night.

A great end to a great year.


The Rompa Apprentices

In recent months Amanda and Harvey have joined the Rompa team as part of the Government’s apprenticeship scheme. Amanda has taken on the role of installations administrator and Harvey is learning the skills to be an IT technician. As a business, the apprenticeship initiative means that we can give two young people that crucial “foot in the door” and introduce them to the world of work. Read on to find out how Amanda and Harvey are finding working for Rompa:

Amanda GodfreyAmanda Godfrey – Installations Administrator

As I previously worked as a care assistant, my interest was always trying to make the lives of others better and more enjoyable. This paired up with Rompa brilliantly as it is a company that creates educational/ calming/ fun environments for people with sensory impairments and other disabilities.
As I have studied A Levels for two years, I have become very organised and able to meet deadlines and work under pressure. These skills transferred brilliantly into the role I applied for as it is based around administration.

Before I came to Rompa I was working as a domiciliary carer for the elderly, mainly people with dementia. This involved going out to the service user’s house and providing as much or as little care they needed. It ranged from making them breakfast to hoisting them out of bed.

This is my first full-time job, as I previously only worked part time due to studying a levels at college. It is very different to being in education as you get on the job training and knowledge that can only be gained through doing an apprenticeship or placement.
The most interesting aspect about my role is making the product information packs and the installer’s packs. By putting these together I get to see the design of the sensory rooms as well as the visual of what it will look like after it is complete. I also get to learn about the different kinds of products that are used in both sensory and soft play rooms and how they are used.

The skills I have brought with me are being organised as that was a skill I had to learn through studying A levels, being able to work to a deadline this applied for essays at college and also working to a timed rota at my previous job. Being able to work in a team or independently is a skill I developed working as a carer because certain service users had two carers and others only needed one which meant you got to work with others but also developed skills working individually.

The skills I’ve had to learn whilst on the job is using my initiative a lot more, as an apprentice you are being trained by someone else and if this person is busy you have to think for yourself and decide what tasks you can complete on your own and what things you need further training on. I have also developed better communication skills as my role includes liaising with customers over the phone. This was something I wasn’t comfortable with before, but since working for Rompa I have become more confident talking to customers.

I am definitely being kept busy! On a daily basis I check job cards, look at orders in suspense, enter data into spreadsheets, and create documents such as job sheets, risk assessments and service agreements. I put together product information packs and the documents that the installers take with them to each job. I arrange appointments for site surveys and confirm dates for installations. I send out checklists to customers and update the installer’s diary with all the relevant information so that all of the engineers know where they are supposed to be and what they will be doing there. My day flies by, but in my opinion this is a good thing. I love every aspect of my role and the people I work with, I love learning new things every day and being able to make my colleagues jobs a little bit easier.

Harvey LewisHarvey Lewis – IT Administrative Support

I joined Rompa as an apprentice I.T technician in September 2014. Before joining Rompa the only work I had ever done was at school so I was obviously nervous as I had never been into a work place before but the team couldn’t have made me feel more welcome.

I’ve always had an interest in technology and spend much of my time uploading videos to YouTube and growing my own gaming channel which I had been doing for 3 years. I have also taught myself to use graphic design packages, motion graphics and video editing software. I’ve always loved playing around with technology and solving problems with my home computers. Having got to grips with the software aspect of IT I thought I would change direction and apply for an apprenticeship and learn about the hardware side to broaden my opportunities.

I got paired with Rompa because the passion I show for technology and also all the work I have done over the past few years in IT and at school. I feel that with my experience in design software I can really bring something to the company and can help troubleshoot issues with these packages, but I also feel that I can learn a lot as well. I chose an apprenticeship because I know I am a person who learns a lot better by doing a task rather than having it explained to me by watching someone else do it. An apprenticeship just suited me better than college.

This is my first job and the biggest difference I find is being a lot more independent, personally I prefer working compared to school because it is mostly learning on the job by actually doing a task. And everything I learn is something I have an interest in which just makes the days more enjoyable. After being with Rompa I have already learnt a whole lot about networking, servers, hardware and the list goes on. I have enjoyed my time with the company so far and I am definitely pleased to be an apprentice at Rompa.

Makaton Taster Session

Before learning any of the signs in the Makaton ‘taster’ session, we were asked to work in pairs to try to see how easy or difficult it would be to communicate with each other without using any words or lip movements. One person had a picture and the other was asked to draw the items that were described. It was surprising how items could be understood without using words.

Makaton Taster Session

Makaton Taster Session

We were taught about 30 basic signs, which included I, You, Where, What, Hello, House, Car, music and Book. We all had great fun learning these and we were all able to quickly put together a sentence using the few signs that we have been taught.

Ann Marie was a great tutor, making the course informative and enjoyable.

It’s nearly Christmas… silly hats must be worn at all times!

Rudolf the Red Nose Financial Director

Rudolf the Red Nose Financial Director

Those of you who follow our Twitter account will know that we promised you some embarrassing pictures of the Christmas do. Well unfortunately all the embarrassing photos of this event contained our web designer, Mark, and therefore have no chance of finding their way online due to his omnipotence in this area.

Such is his power that you are more likely to find a picture of our financial director dressed as Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer on the Rompa blog that you are of him belting out “Don’t Stop Me Now!” at the Christmas Karaoke. Enjoy.



Gemma Cooke Reflects on 2 Years in Design

Gemma Cooke

Gemma Cooke

August 2013 bought me to my two year anniversary as part of the Rompa team. I can honestly say it has been a rewarding, educational and valuable two years.

I was very fortunate to gain employment with Rompa straight after completing a degree in Interior Design. My third year graduation project was the design of a Respite Centre for those affected by autism, alongside a dissertation on ‘How Interior Design can aid and improve the lives of those with autism’. It was this project being shown at our graduation exhibition that lead to me having contact with Rompa and successfully getting a job as part of their design team. I learnt a lot during the research undertaken for my graduation project and have continued to build on that knowledge while at Rompa. I have always had a passion for the caring industry; the sensory sector is one I find fascinating and highly rewarding to be a part of. Through my role I get to practice my passion for design and also help a wide variety of users gain a space that can enhance their lives in such rewarding and valuable ways.

During my first few months at Rompa I spent the time adjusting to the way in which the design and installation process works, learning the history of the company, using new programs and getting to know the team I work with. In my two years at Rompa I have worked on many exciting projects in all sectors, including room design, exhibitions, specialist projects for charitable events and large projects abroad. I have attended sales advisor visits, undertaken site surveys and had a glimmer of the life of an installer.

In this year and last I have attended various exhibitions, including the Autism Show for which I designed the stands. Being able to meet our customers and interact with people face to face is not something I get to do very often as a designer but I find it very valuable and get a huge amount of satisfaction from. As a designer of such important spaces it is vital we are aware of the users needs, experiences and feedback… what better way to do this than speaking with people directly.

Gemma gets her hands dirty2013 also saw Rompa install their fantastic showroom here at our headquarters. I oversaw the project and ensured the installation process went smoothly. It was great to see the design work we had undertaken grow into a room in front of our eyes and I loved being part of it through the design, manufacture and installation stages. I got my hands dirty at each stage and found it very rewarding to be part of the build process including some late nights spent painting and cleaning to ensure we met our deadline.

After over a year of being the only female member of a male dominated team, 6 months ago I got some female support in the form of Helen our newest designer. The dynamics of our happy office have only been improved by her arrival, and she helps me keep the men in check.  

12 Months in the Life of Rompa’s Web Designer

Mark Tyler

Mark Tyler

It’s been a busy year for me. I moved house in March, started my new job at Rompa on the 16th of July, my wife had our baby 5 weeks early in August and I launched Rompa’s new website on the 7th of September. In October I changed the domain of to and started work on, this went live in November and then I was making an online noise about our contribution to The Yard, a DIY SOS Children in Need Big Build Project.

Rompa Website

New Vs Old

Refreshed from the Christmas break, I hit the ground running in January with a global price update for both Rompa and Winslow and the import of the new product range. February saw an upgrade to our website platform and the start of work to integrate this with our Enterprise Resource Planning solution.

In March I was digging my car out from under snow drifts and chasing upgrade Gremlins around the website’s back office. I also set up Google Adwords campaigns for our new bubble tubes and sensory kits. April was Autism awareness month and we dipped our toe in the pool of Facebook adverts with mixed results and I created several sensory room desktop wallpapers.

In May I added lots of effect wheel videos to the relevant product pages and found myself up to my eyes in spreadsheets. I also did some spring cleaning in an attempt to make some more room on the server. I created a page dedicated to the sensory room approach to dementia in June and spent some time fixing some Internet Explorer 7 display issues. If you could all stop using IE7 now that would be great, thanks.

July has brought a local IP address change which prevented our internet connection from accessing the Rompa website and the implementation of a Catpcha on the account creation page which should put an end to the automated creation of spam accounts which have plagued us recently.

Which brings us full circle to today, the 16 July 2013. My first year at Rompa has flown by with plenty being achieved. In the next 12 months I will be competing with myself when comparing like for like website traffic and revenue, I hope me from the past left some room for improvement.  

Celebrating 35 Years of Continuous Service

We were celebrating today at ROMPA as Karen Leech reached quite a milestone… 35 years continuous service!

Karen started her career in 1978 with Robinson’s (which later became ROMPA) producing CWS – Cellulose Wadding Supplies or in English- creating the inside packaging for boxes of Terry’s chocolates.

Throughout her tenure she has seen ROMPA as a small business turn into a global

Congratulations Karen

Congratulations Karen

enterprise. Karen has held a variety of jobs such as ‘Band knife operator’ (being responsible for a big knife) promotional work, a 2 week stint in cotton wool which I can quote her as being ‘horrible’ before finding her role that she has held for 19 years within Rompa within electronics..

Karen has seen management changes, restructuring of the business and countless innovations in technology- if you have had an electrical product from ROMPA in the last 19 years it is almost certain that Karen has been involved in its build / design.

From the woman who says “When I started I couldn’t wire a plug… now I can build you a transformer!” Karen has progressed within the role and become a vital part of ROMPA and we would struggle without her!

Congratulations Karen and thank you for all your hard work over the years.