Boing! Softplay Family Centre is a community softplay centre designed to support, and to be used exclusively by, families with children aged 0-5 years.
Following its set up in 2011, Boing! was managed by Stoke Park Children's Centre until September 2017 when operations were handed over to Boing Bristol Community Interest Company (CIC). Since September 2018, when Boing Bristol CIC bought Boing! outright, it has been developed as a not-for-profit social enterprise with income generated (from entrance, the cafe and parties in particular) financially sustaining the work we do to support families of 0-5s in the local area and further afield.
Boing Bristol CIC is currently run by three Directors: David Jones, Richard Reddrop and Jess Higgins. Richard and Jess are also paid members of staff.
Currently CEO of Changing Tunes, a music relational charity based in 15 prisons across the south west, Dave is an experienced, organisational, strategic thinking leader committed to social change by working through partnerships and also to financial sustainability.
He has worked for 18 years in the voluntary sector, during which time he has created 3 charities from scratch...and a Community Interest Company. Most recently he was Director at Brentry & Henbury Children's Centre, taking them from a position of being heavily reliant on Local Authority funding to a place where it trades 85% of its income. He still finds time to do a bit of charity auctioneering for them!
Dave has 4 daughters - at one time 3 of them were under 5 years of age – so he has some idea of supporting families of young children! In his spare time (!) he plays the kazoo and leads a Woodlands Group of Churches church plant in Henbury (though not at the same time).
I'm a former Primary School teacher and now manager of Boing! as well as being a Director of the company. I love living in the diverse, lively city of Bristol and being part of a thriving community. I also love to retreat to Cornwall for my holidays so I can take long dog walks along the coastal paths and bodyboard with my family. I am half Swedish and have lived in Norway for 9 years so I also love skiing and IKEA!
I like Boing! because it is a safe hub for people to gather and build community. I love to see the children entertained and the parents relaxing, whichever way they want. This may be a quiet coffee whilst reading the news, meeting people to talk to, or playing with their children. Every child and every adult is an individual who we want to support in the best way for them. My favourite part of the week is running the craft group, where I get a chance to sit with children and their parents/carers to create and chat. I also love running Tiddlers with Sarah. Interacting with the children through a craft, story or song is a highlight of my week.
I was inspired to set up Boing! in Lockleaze when Head of Stoke Park Children's Centre, mainly due to the church-run place I visited when I went part-time to look after my young daughter (now a teenager!). It was a very simple place with some basic equipment and a lovely cafe but what made it special were the volunteer staff who really engaged with customers and made us feel welcome. I used all my experiences in the voluntary sector (working for homeless charity, Emmaus Bristol), public sector (leading the community services work at the local primary school and, of course, heading up the children's centre) as well private sector (a long, very enjoyable stint in financial services) to work together with others to establish Boing! Softplay Family Centre in answer to local need.
I have also been CEO for prison charity, Changing Tunes (albeit on an interim basis), and local charity Lockleaze Neighbourhood Trust (for which I chaired the Board of Trustees between 2011 and 2016). In my spare time I enjoy a little running, travelling and spending time with my family.
Our staff and volunteers
Richard Reddrop - Chief Executive
See above for details
Jess Higgins - Boing! Lockleaze Manager
See above for details
Hayley Cremen - Boing! Lockleaze Party Manager
I started at Boing! as a Party Manager and now also work in the Community Cafe each week. I have two children of my own; Grace who is 4 and Jasmine aged 1. Grace thinks I have the best job in the world being able to play on the soft play all day!
Previously I've worked as a Teacher and also have experience in hospitality. In my own time I can mostly be found going on day trips with my family or meeting up with friends.
What I love about Boing! is meeting families and getting to know them and also seeing large groups of families and friends come together to celebrate special events like birthday parties.
Carly Jenkins - Boing! Lockleaze Party Manager
I am Carly and I have been working for Boing! as a party manager since June 2019. I have previously worked in children’s social care roles and my last job was working with disabled children.
Working for Boing! was a big change for me but I have loved Boing! as a customer since my first child was born in 2012. I live in Lockleaze and love the community spirit here; for me Boing! has always been a big part of that.
My hobbies and interests have dwindled somewhat over the years (I have 3 small and fairly demanding children to contend with!) but I do enjoy talking to people about cloth nappies (I appreciate it is a stretch to consider nappies a hobby!) I am trying to turn the gym into a hobby at the moment, it is a work in progress!
Katharine Futak - Boing! Lockleaze Assistant
Hi, I'm Katharine. I've usually got my back turned to you as I help prep food orders in the cafe. I'm a mum of three and so have spent a large part of my life prepping food. I once went on a careers course to guide me as to my ideal career and I came up with that I like peace and tranquility, little children and the countryside. I wasn't a mum at that time, so was puzzled when the parents at the course laughed! Maybe my corner of the kitchen is the most tranquil place at Boing! Being near Stoke Park Estate, Boing! seems nearly in the countryside.
This job has got me back on my bike and my rain gear always make Richard laugh! I love all sorts of food, especially spicy, so big thumbs-up for Jess's lentil dahl!
Our brilliant volunteers
We have been blessed with some fantastic volunteers. They are/have been, in no particular order:
• Sarah Hardiman (Tiddlers)
• Christine Froud (Lockleaze Toddler Group)
• Louisa McCormick (Lockleaze Toddler Group)
• Veronique Jones (Lockleaze Toddler Group)
• Beth Ogar (Lockleaze Toddler Group)
• Carole Sudworth (Honeysuckle Cafe)
• Hannah Welch (Honeysuckle Cafe)
• Becky Peach (Honeysuckle Cafe)
• Mary (Honeysuckle Cafe)
• Laura (Honeysuckle Cafe)