Today, I am happy to introduce Becky Hoare, who runs a fantastic children’s role-play business called ‘Pop Up Play Village’. Over to Becky, to tell you more about how the business works and what lessons she has learnt during this period in lockdown…

“Hi, I’m Becky Hoare and I’m the Director and Franchisor of Pop Up Play Village Limited. Pop Up Play Village is a mobile role play village and we pop up for play sessions, parties and wedding entertainment. I work in schools and nurseries too, bringing my role play areas in to educate EYFS and Key Stage 1 children through role play. I run events in the Thatcham and Newbury areas but we also now have franchises in 9 areas spread over the UK.

Some elements of Pop Up Play Village can be run at home (the admin and management side of things) but sadly our events cannot run right now.  I have been providing free daily ‘role play at home’ ideas through our Facebook page to support families with ways of entertaining and educating 2-8 year olds at home in a fun and easy way. This has not only been useful for our customers and followers but it has really had an impact on family life at home. My kids prefer to learn and do their school learning through play so it has been really beneficial that I can combine my business with my family life and made the days at home more fun too!

The biggest hurdle we have faced in lockdown is that our whole team of franchises aren’t able to run events at the moment.  With so many events having to be rescheduled, this will make us very busy when we come out of lockdown! We had already got a service where customers can hire our play areas before lockdown and we do plan on this being the first service that will open hopefully soon. We have got a new service to launch soon too which is the hire of mini role play areas. These mini role play areas are a great size for homes and come with EYFS and Key Stage 1 learning activities so that customers can home school through role play resources in a fun and exciting way. This service will involve a non-contact drop off and pick up service and we are hoping to be able to offer this soon.  These mini role play areas will be available for hire Monday-Friday or Friday-Monday.

I think the hire of our mini kits at home will become a new permanent featured service in our range of services on offer. We will also continue to share role play at home activities with our customers too.

As a franchise team, we have many exciting plans for when we reopen. We have also had 3 new franchises join our team who will all be launching events in their local areas when we can run events again so we will be very busy post COVID 19!

The biggest lesson I have learnt during lockdown has been that life doesn’t have to always be fast paced to achieve great things, time is needed to reflect on where you are and where you want to go. ”

Written by Rachel Harding from Rachel Harding Legal Services