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The Family Network has groups spread over the UK and allows the people behind an amazing array of businesses to connect face to face with regular meet ups, workshops and other events.
Sharing ideas and tapping into local support to boost your business as well as developing colloborative opportunities are some of the many benefits.
Best of all, it’s totally FREE which is a massive bonus if you’re a small start up company!
The East Devon branch is my ‘local’ and the effervesent Danielle Downey organises the group. Check out their facebook page if you’re keen to find out more and come join us!
We’re off up to London on 23rd March for the Awards Night at DoubleTree Hilton Hotel in London Docklands.
We’ll let you know how we go!
ARGGG…not another acronym!!! What is a CIC??
I founded Whizz Kids Toys Limited as a direct response to the scenario we are seeing more and more of. Children entering the school system not physically ready for learning.
I’ve been a research scientist then school teacher for many years. I wanted to try and do my bit to boost physical activity and motor skill development in little people. Whizz Kids Toys was born from wanting to provide good quality active toys, share activity ideas and create biking events for children aged 1 through to 5 years old.
A few months ago, I had a ‘sounding board’ meeting with the insightful and experienced Petra Davies at Business Information Point. This set the ball rolling in a slightly different direction. After listening to my business ‘why’ and goals for the future, she suggested looking at a Community Interest Company as a framework that was more inline with my mission.
So, after months of research, we’ve made the switch to a Community Interest Company or CIC.
I’ve set some public goals in helping to improve physical activity of young children in my community. These will be reviewed each year.
We’ve become a ‘Not for Profit’ Company with profits made in the business getting fed back into intiatives that support my community goals. It also means that we can potentially access local, regional and national grants.This will enable me to subsidise my biking activities that I currently run and hopefully extend into further events. This makes them more affordable for you guys and I can spread the message a little wider.
I’ve nominated a ‘not for profit’ organisation to align with that will benefit financially from profits of the company.
Whizz-Kidz is a national charity whose mission is to transform the lives of young wheelchair users, ensuring that all children get the chance to enjoy a fun, active childhood and reach their full potential. They do this by providing the mobility equipment, support and life skills that young people need, when they need them – giving them the best chance to build a bright future.
They have almost 30 years experience working with young wheelchair users, and have transformed the lives of over 23,000 young people. But too many young people still cannot access a wheelchair which meets their needs and enables them to fully enjoy their childhoods, or the services and opportunities they need to prepare for independent adulthood.
Whizz-Kidz provides a vital Mobility Equipment service, which sees their expert Therapists and Engineers work with children and their families to identify, proscribe and fit the right wheelchair, adapted trike or other sports and recreational equipment to give them independence, freedom and confidence. But the right equipment is just the start of the journey. Through their Wheelchair Skills Training courses, Whizz-Kidz Clubs and Employability programmes, the charity supports young people to develop greater independence, build confidence and learn new skills which can help them access the same development, education and employment opportunities as their non-disabled peers.
You can find out more about their services, and how to access their support, on their website: www.whizz-kidz.org.uk or by calling 0800 151 3350.
Heather Ridley, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Whizz-Kidz said,
“We are delighted to be working with Whizz Kids Toys. We have a shared mission to ensure that all children get opportunities to be active, and develop the skills and confidence they need to thrive, so we’re thrilled that Kes Reid has chosen to support our work through her business. We look forward to working together to transform children’s lives and enable them to reach their potential.”
Kevin is five years old, and has cerebral palsy. He relies on the support of a wheelchair for mobility and had little independence before receiving his very own trike from Whizz-Kidz last Christmas.
Kevin’s father John said: “We could see that Kevin wanted to keep up with kids his own age and play out with them but he relied on us so much in his wheelchair and he wasn’t able to ride a bike. All he wanted was to be able to have some independence.
We began looking into what equipment we could buy for him that could help but we didn’t have any idea how to go about finding the right equipment or whether it was even available. That was until our district nurse was visiting and recommended that we reach out to Whizz-Kidz.
We applied and saw a Whizz-Kidz therapist shortly after, who assessed Kevin to see what would work best for him. Whizz-Kidz were brilliant and the therapist knew exactly what we were looking for.
Kevin received his trike in December 2016 just in time for Christmas. His face just lit up when he opened the box and he couldn’t wait to try it out. He absolutely loved it and it took him no time at all to learn to ride it. It just made his Christmas.
Seeing him self-propelling and able to take himself wherever he wants to go has been lovely. It’s almost like he spends more time on that trike than he does in his wheelchair. He rides it to school every other day now. It’s very secure and provides him with the right support so we don’t need to worry about him when he’s riding it. It also means that he can get outdoors with us much more often and he can ride along himself which he loves doing.
Before Kevin received his trike he wasn’t able to walk anywhere and he could barely crawl so he didn’t have a lot of strength in his legs. However, ever since, he has been getting stronger every day and we have definitely noticed the power building in his legs. Seeing this new found strength has really been an amazing turning point for all of us and he is able to do so much more now that he couldn’t do before.
Not only has his strength developed but his confidence has improved ten-fold, he’s such an outgoing little boy now and that is certainly because of his new-found independence. He goes out, he can socialise, he can keep up with his friends and it’s something that he has control of. You can’t keep him in the house now. Seeing him develop so quickly with this one piece of equipment has been just wonderful for us all.”
I over the moon that Whizz Kidz Charity has agreed to be my nominated charity, the work they do in boosting the activity levels of less mobile members of our community is inspiring.
Better get making some profits to share with them then!