Mum’s the word this week as a local mum from Hitchin has launched an essential online guide to help families. Little Ankle Biters Hertfordshire is a free website for every member of the family providing trusted reviews of the best activity clubs, days out, classes and child friendly pubs & restaurants, all supported by great tips and advice about how to entertain kids across Hertfordshire.
It is easy to assume the last thing on a new mum’s mind is starting a new business, but Penny Joyner-Platt (pictured, left), Franchise Owner of Little Ankle Biters Hertfordshire, says becoming a mum for the first time and a global pandemic proved an ideal opportunity to pluck up the courage and get her creative juices flowing.
Speaking at the launch held at Paradise Wildlife Park, she said: ‘We have created a fantastic resource for families that will also help local businesses, community led groups and charities across the county as they begin to establish COVID-secure ways of working.
‘During my pregnancy and into motherhood, I realised there was a need for a reliable local family guide in one place to help parents and carers find great ideas and things to do to keep the children entertained and happy.’
Penny Joyner-Platt, 37, previously enjoyed a successful career as a PR director in London. She was made redundant when her little boy, Freddie was only 3 months old. This forced her to look at what her next career move would look like. After considering working for herself previously, she soon realised that a long commute and London hours would no longer suit her family life and with the support of her husband she took the leap and started her own business.
Speaking at the launch of Little Ankle Biters Hertfordshire at Paradise Wildlife Park, Broxbourne Joyner-Platt, said: ‘Digital platforms have taken a huge leap forward with COVID changing the shape of how businesses, community led groups and charities operate forever. I have recently been guiding business owners and group leaders on how to do things online from hosting virtual live and pre-recorded baby and toddler singing classes through to offering free promotion on our Little Ankle Biters Hertfordshire website and social media channels. I anticipate this hybrid business model will need to be adopted on a national scale by some of our much loved children’s franchises long after lockdown restrictions have been eased.’
Joyner-Platt used her time during lockdown following a postponed Easter launch to ensure the Little Ankle Biters Hertfordshire website and social media channels are rich in content, including: what’s on, days out, travel, food & drink, education, clubs and classes in addition to an area for adults that focuses on work life, pregnancy and spas through to nights out for parents.
Little Ankle Biters is already established in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire and will be launching in Hampshire later this month. The company was founded in 2017 by former colleagues, Kate Gregory (pictured, right) from Oxfordshire and Michelle Cairncross from Berkshire.
Ambassadors for flexible working, the two mums understand the challenges faced by many when returning to work from maternity leave and harbour ambitions to grow Little Ankle Biters across the UK by providing a truly local service that also helps parents work around family life.
Kate Gregory, co-founder, Little Ankle Biters, said: ‘We are delighted to welcome Penny to the team and look forward to supporting her as Little Ankle Biters reaches out to the Hertfordshire community. We can’t wait to hear more about the fantastic family adventures this county has to offer and would encourage those who are looking for staycation activity ideas to also take a look at one of our other sites written by local mums.’
To celebrate the launch of this new service, Little Ankle Biters Hertfordshire has teamed-up with Paradise Wildlife Park to offer one lucky person the chance to win a family ticket to the park and enjoy a great day out in Hertfordshire. To enter this fantastic competition, visit Little Ankle Biters Hertfordshire on Instagram at instagram.com/littleanklebitersherts. Follow them and like the competition post, tagging in a friend who you think would also like the chance to win.
Little Ankle Biters Hertfordshire can be found at herts.ankle-biters.co.uk where it is possible to sign-up for a newsletter including offers for kids, parents and carers.