I have spent my entire life looking after children's futures. I spent ten years plus as a youth worker in North Lincolnshire, I worked in education at schools where children were rejected from mainstream education and special needs schools. I am currently a parent champion for North Lincolnshire Council as well as been a qualified Social Worker.
I spent a unique part of my time for my degree at Hull Families. This service was absolutely incredible and was a middle ground point between families getting involved with social services at court level and having no support. We were the possible before the inevitable. Then the funding for Hull families was lost, and they were gone.
This led me to rethink this service. How could I achieve the same level of care without the bids for funding. This is where my social enterprise business became a reality. Through our soft play area, family meals, youth club, gardening clubs, knitting and crocheting clubs and so much more we found away through a community centre to offer support to the families of our area whilst earning a living and then opening up more centre's. Eventually i will only make money from the teaching of the franchise and the properties we source for the franchisees. The money then after the operating cost's of the centre will be placed in a community trust that offers a service for our young people setting up their own idea's and funding their start up. There is a vision to create a franchise opportunity in the very near future and carry out the training in my own centres in North Lincolnshire.
I have invested £48,000 of my own money into the business buying all the equipment to fit out two centres. We are in the final stages of buying a building in Grimsby and we are awaiting a lease on a property with an option to buy in Barton upon Humber so we can run our community centres from those two locations.
Further to this I have taken out personal loans of £35,000 to get the properties to a standard for families to enjoy in happiness and safety. I am including a timetable of our centre in Barton upon Humber. This all happened and then Covid-19 hit us just as we was about to start work.
So we have again had to think outside the box. I bought a stock of Easter activities for children which would of being used in the centres. I intend to send these out to families in the local area along with letters of positivity for parents in support of themselves and their children's mental health and positive isolation techniques. In return for this we would ask for £3.00 only and we will then book the families in for the first play appointments free of charge when we are out of lock down and the centres open. We find this to be a critical service to our community with the uncertainty of work, education, exam results and time we will be in lock down.