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Ex-Dragon Theo Paphitis puts Gloucester glamping in the spotlight

PUBLISHED: 11:15 14 June 2017 | UPDATED: 11:15 14 June 2017

Ali Parker with Theo Paphitis

Ali Parker with Theo Paphitis

Archant

Half a million people have now heard of a glamping site near Gloucester after it received a Small Business Sunday boost from Theo Paphitis

The Small Business Sunday initiative was set up by the former Dragons’ Den investor and chairman of Ryman Stationery in 2010.

Every Sunday evening, small businesses are encouraged to tweet him with the hashtag #SBS. Theo then chooses his favourite six which are retweeted to his 500,000-plus followers.

Ali Parker, owner of The Glamping Orchard, which is set on their family-run smallholding in Longney, received her #SBS award at an event at the ICC in Birmingham after tweeting Theo about her business.

The event also provided workshops, networking opportunities and the chance to question a panel of experts, including Theo, fellow Dragon Deborah Meaden and JML founder John Mills.

Since winning, Ali says The Glamping Orchard has seen a surge of Twitter followers and bookings for its 1950s The Warwick Knight, one of the world’s rarest caravans, which recently featured on George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces, and their cosy bell tent, Belle.

Ali, who previously worked in the travel industry, and husband Rich, an agricultural engineer, renovated the Warwick, which is believed to be one of only three left in the world.

The couple have even re-created an elaborate roof garden which once adorned it at an Earls Court exhibition in 1952.

The Glamping Orchard is now profiled on the website - www.theopaphitissbs.com – along with 1,700 other winners.

Theo said: “We are thrilled to welcome new #SBS members every week and highlight just how important it is to support our small businesses here in the UK.

“My vision is that everyone who has ever won an #SBS re-tweet from me becomes part of a friendly club; like-minded individuals who can share successes and learnings. I wish The Glamping Orchard every success.”

Anyone looking for a re-tweet from Theo should tweet @TheoPaphitis about their business on Sunday between 5pm and 7.30pm and include the hashtag #SBS.

Six lucky businesses are then re-tweeted every Monday at 8pm and invited to enter their profile on the new website, attend the annual #SBS networking event and take advantage of other networking opportunities.

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