Clip ‘n Climb franchises to benefit from rise in staycations after UK lockdown

August 10, 2020

Clip ‘n Climb, an international leader in the fun climbing market, is expecting a rise in UK staycations following the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Clip ‘n Climb franchise owners in the UK are likely to benefit from a rise staycations this summer, following the fact that many people have put their holiday plans on hold as a result of the pandemic.

The UK entered a coronavirus-related lockdown in March this year, and while restrictions are now being relaxed many will not be travelling abroad this summer. In fact, 45% of people in the UK are expected to holiday within the country in the next six months.

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To capitalise on this, business owners may decide to open a franchise under a quality, well-known leisure brand. This means they can attract customers quickly while enjoying the security and support of Clip ‘n Climb’s proven business model.

Compete turnkey business model

Clip ‘n Climb has over 80 centres in the UK, as well as more than 300 centres around the world. The franchise model is a complete turnkey leisure business, including design and installation for more than 40 climbing challenges for the whole family. Franchisees can also take advantage of full training and support, useful resources, equipment discounts, maintenance checks and marketing support.

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Vicky Coupe, Clip ‘n Climb franchise manager, says: “Following our reopening on July 25th, we are encouraged by the high number of bookings we’ve received by existing and new customers. It’s clear that more and more people across the UK are looking for new fun ways to spend their free time and with that, there’s the opportunity for new franchisees to benefit.”

Clip ‘n Climb centres in the UK have been open to the public once more since 25 July, with extra safety procedures such as social distancing, online bookings, contactless payments, PPE, smaller sessions and new hand sanitising stations. Many have been declared ‘Good to Go’ by visit England, confirming that they meet all the relevant health and safety guidelines.

Earlier this year, Clip ‘n Climb published the results of its global customer survey on attitudes to COVID-19, with the aim of helping operators plan for a safe reopening that takes into account their visitors’ needs.

Source: Blooloop

Cheshire businesswoman up for major franchising award

July 30, 2020

Feeling stifled and unfulfilled as an accountant and knowing she always wanted to run her own business, Kim Pinnington, now 37, took on a Puddle Ducks franchise three years ago, and since then has thrived.

Because of this, she has been shortlisted in the Transformation category at the bfa HSBC British Franchise Awards, taking place at the Vox, Birmingham, on November 30.

She runs a Puddle Ducks (a franchise that teaches babies and toddlers to swim), that covers Cheshire, the North West Midlands, and Wrexham, employing 23 people. Despite the wide geographical split, she has managed to make the territory much more profitable through hard work and canny business decisions, even though it was operating as a successful business before she purchased it.

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“I am thrilled to be shortlisted for the Franchisee Business Transformation award and to be recognised for what I have achieved over the last few years as a franchisee.

“Franchising has given me the confidence to run my own business in the knowledge that I have full support from my network and helped me to strive towards my professional goal of building a successful sustainable business and my personal goal of balancing work life around my family” says Kim Pinnington, Franchisee.

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Pip Wilkins QFP, CEO of the bfa, said: “The territory Kim purchased is spread wide and far, and although the foundations and base of a great business were acquired when she purchased it, the previous franchisee had only made a modest return. However, Kim really utilised the power of the network for advice and formulated an airtight business plan.”

Andrew Brattesani, Head of Franchising at HSBC, added: “Kim more than tripled net profit in her first year of operating through steady scaling and sticking to a robust plan and cutting classes where necessary. Despite having just over 700 customers in 2016/17 and just under 900 in 2019/20, the net profit margin has risen from 10% to 22%.”

Kim will go head-to-head against three other franchisees in November.

By Emma Lumley

Source: BDaily

International coding school opens first UK sites in London

July 22, 2020

A coding school has announced that it has opened its first two UK centres in the London area. Code Ninjas, which has franchises internationally, opened its first centres in Watford and Pinner this month.

This comes ahead of plans to open more UK sites “in quick succession” before the end of this year.

Reena Patel, who owns the Watford centre with partner Jass, commented: “It’s an honour to be part of Code Ninjas and play such a vital role in spearheading the growth of the brand on British soil.

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“We both feel so passionately about Code Ninjas’ commitment to delivering quality, fun coding education and are thrilled to have the opportunity to support that mission in our community. We’re in for a busy few months but can’t wait to make our mark on the state of children’s coding education in the UK.”

Prasad Prabhakaran, one of the four co-owners of Code Ninjas Pinner, said: “It feels so wonderful to be able to welcome our first students. “

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It’s been an exciting few months for us all, as we’ve worked hard to prepare for our launch. The centre looks incredible and the feedback we’ve received from our ninjas and their families has been fantastic.

“We’re all looking forward to a ninja-fuelled future in our area!”

Marty Flanagan, VP of Franchising at Code Ninjas, added: “Opening our first few UK locations has come at such a pivotal time, as families plan for their children going back to school in the autumn.

Related: Code Ninjas Franchise

“The turnout at both events is proof of the demand for our kids’ coding curriculum in their respective communities and we’ve been blown away by the initial response.

“If the launches of Code Ninjas Watford and Code Ninjas Pinner are anything to go by, the next few launches – which will be taking place in quick succession before the year is out! – will really put Code Ninjas on the UK map.”

By Chloe Shakesby

Source: BDaily

Franchise Theatre School Extends Support To Families Over The Summer

July 1, 2020

Traditionally, the six-week summer holiday has provided a chance for children and their families to take a break from the routine. With the closure of schools and the disruptions to everyday life, the six-week break is leaving many parents feeling concerned about a further lack of structure.

When schools closed, Razzamataz Theatre Schools responded with a well-considered and researched strategy to take all their classes online, with small groups enabling the students to interact with their teachers and other classmates. Not only have there been regular classes, there’s been a host of special events including masterclasses with performers from West End shows, talks given by Felicity French, casting director for Cameron Mackintosh and former students who are appearing in shows such as &Juliet as well as former Razzamataz Barnet student Tamara Smart who is a young actress with leading roles in many TV shows and films including Artemis Fowl, which is soon to be shown on Disney+.

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In usual times, during the long six-week summer holiday, finding things to keep children entertained day in and day out is not easy. During the pandemic, finding things to keep children active and also interactive with others has been even more challenging, which is why Razzamataz has announced that schools throughout the UK will be offering summer holiday online classes.

“We have had so many testimonials from parents thanking us for continuing to provide classes, which has helped create a structure for family life,” says Denise Hutton-Gosney, MD and Founder of Razzamataz. “We have proved that through our small, interactive classes, we can keep the students having fun and maintain a high standard of performing arts training.”

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There are almost 50 Razzamataz schools throughout the UK with summer school classes that will welcome both current and non-Razzamataz students. Some of the typical testimonials from parents include: “Razzamataz Online meant that my daughter was able to interact with her teachers she knows and loves. She was so motivated knowing that they were watching her movement and the fact she was able to ask questions about specific moves was really beneficial. The high Razzamataz standard was maintained throughout.”

During the summer schools, students between the ages of 4-18, will be split into small age appropriate groups to work on either a musical theatre or commercial piece to create a short presentation that is performed at the end of the course. With more and more casting agents looking for performers to create ‘self-tape auditions’ this is a great way of understanding and preparing for the changes in the industry.

As well as the performance side, students will also get to participate in some of the backstage aspects of theatre and the arts. This will include prop making and set and costume design, all created with everyday objects that can be found in the home.

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“Although COVID-19 has changed the way we do things, it doesn’t have to stop us from being creative and engaging young people in a new and exciting way,” explains Denise. “Of course, this is new to us all but the power of our network means that we can collaborate and find the best ways of continuing to provide exciting opportunities for students. We know that parents are also exhausted and although everyone’s situation is unique, many are still reaching out to find activities for their children.”

Even during the pandemic, Razzamataz continues to expand and has recently welcomed five new franchisee Principals who have just completed a week-long training conducted via Zoom. To understand more about the flexible nature of running a Razzamataz Theatre School and learn more about franchising in general, the company are running a number of online Discovery Dens where you can meet the Head Office team and hear from franchise Principals.

Source Franchising

Dundee tuition firm sees growth as it pivots to online learning

June 8, 2020

A Dundee based tuition service specialising in teaching English and maths to primary and secondary school learners has adapted to move all its students to an online learning environment during the Covid-19 restrictions.

The Kip McGrath centre in Dundee, run by Yvette Hill and Chris Hill, previously offered the option of in-person tuition at its Court House Square facility, or by a virtual classroom.

The centre, which opened in 2017 before moving to larger premises last year, employs seven fully qualified teachers, each with a minimum of two years of professional teaching experience.

Centre director, Yvette Hill, said the business had seen a steep increase in new students, enquiries and assessment requests since the start of the pandemic.

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She said: “We currently teach children from a broad geographical spread ranging from the highlands, to Angus and Fife, so it wasn’t too much of a challenge to move to an entirely online service.

“Of course, parents and students are keen to return to the centre once we are able to, but the current situation has also shown the benefits and flexibility the online learning offers.

“For many parents, home-schooling their children, often while trying to work full-time at home was manageable in the short term, but it has also become increasingly difficult as time as time has gone on and are looking for extra support.”

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The online classroom has a fully interactive whiteboard and students can ‘raise their hand’ in a virtual way.

The Kip McGrath centre is part of a franchise which has 260 centres around the UK and more than 560 centres globally.

Ms Hill added: “We went through a transition period when the pandemic restrictions came into force, but we have been fortunate to have the capability to move the business completely online.

“We have seen strong growth over the past few months.”

By Jim Millar

Source: The Courier

Using their ‘little voices’ to sing in support of mental health

May 31, 2020

Little Voices, a scheme that teaches lessons in drama and singing, has been keeping children engaged during lockdown with a series of free video workshops.

In aid of supporting young people who may be struggling with their mental health as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the lessons guide children through skills in performing arts from trained professionals.

Mum-of-two Rachel Bradshaw bought the Preston Little Voices franchise in 2014, and has since welcomed the classes to nine venues across Preston, Chorley and Leyland.

“As soon as the schools closed, we wanted to begin our lessons online. It was a rush but it was important that our children were able to continue taking part in their lessons and seeing their friends” said Rachel, 41.

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“It’s so important for them and their mental wellbeing to have a sense of normality and structure. We wanted anyone to be able to join, not just our pupils, to make a positive change during this difficult situation.”

The mental health issues that young people are facing during the lockdown have been highlighted by Childline, who announced they are offering one counselling session every five minutes on average.

One in five children in Lancashire have experienced problems with their mental health by the age of 11.

The ‘Little Voices’ franchise have over 70 principles nationwide and have all introduced online workshops to support young people with the power of music and performing. Children across Preston, Leyland and Chorley can now take part in the video lessons to help develop their passion for the arts in lockdown.

Other locations include Lytham St Annes, Clitheroe, Blackburn, Wigan and Accrington.

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“The Preston groups have also launched LVTV, a Facebook Live that we stream every day during the school holidays and then on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. We incorporate singing, crafts and drama to keep them feeling positive and entertained,” said Rachel, from Buckshaw Village.

“Through our workshops, we let them talk about their emotions and channel them through character and song, which is a great way for them to be open and address if they are struggling.

“It’s amazing at building their confidence because many of our students who have struggled with low moods or self esteem completely change when they get to see their friends. Their faces just light up.”

Rachel now has plans to continue the free workshops after lockdown restrictions are lifted to continue giving children mental health support for families who may be struggling financially.

“Our tutors are passionate about teaching and are doing this on a voluntary basis,” she said.

“They make sure they get every child involved and integrated into the call.”

Families wanting to be involved in the free online workshops should email or phone 07480 064828.

By James Holt

Source: Lancashire Post

Franchise theatre school network continues to support talented youngsters with thousands of pounds worth of training

May 21, 2020

Despite the closure of schools across the UK, a Dragons’ Den backed theatre school franchise wanted to continue offering incredible opportunities to young people with a passion for the performing arts.

Razzamataz Theatre Schools has been working with children for the last twenty years and has offered in excess of one million pounds in scholarships and grants to help children participate in the theatre arts.

Even during this lockdown period, Razzamataz are digging deep to give children with the drive and determination to make it in the world of performing arts, a chance to achieve their dreams by attending professional performing arts training.

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Razzamataz Theatre Schools across the UK have joined forces with The Stage newspaper to offer scholarships to children and young people to attend their local Razzamataz free of charge for one year, worth up to £855. The scholarship audition process has been taken completely online to adhere to social distancing measures. The deadline for entries is 19th June 2020, so there is still time to get involved.

“We were the first part-time theatre school to work with The Stage newspaper to offer these scholarships and we have seen the amazing results across the UK,” says Denise Hutton-Gosney, MD and Founder of Razzamataz. “Now, more than ever, we want to continue to be there for our families and young people in our communities and give them something to look forward to. The pandemic has taken away such a lot for children and teenagers so we were determined to keep this exciting partnership for them.”

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When schools closed, Razzamataz laid out a very thorough plan to keep offering performing arts training online. Not only have the schools been able to continue to support families with regular classes, there have also been a host of special guest workshops and interviews. Over the last few weeks, Razzamataz students have been able to participate in interviews with West End stars Kerry Ellis (Wicked) and Jennifer Tierney (Come From Away) as well as join in commercial classes with Lizzie Gough (Strictly Come Dancing). There have also been special interviews on social media so students can learn more about the industry with Felicity French (casting agent with Cameron Mackintosh) and actress Danielle Fiamanya (&Juliet).

To ensure as many youngsters as possible can enter The Stage scholarships, Razzamataz has created a system that is easily accessible to all.

The competition is open to current and non Razzamataz students aged 6-18. Videos do not need to be professionally filmed and can be emailed, sent via dropbox or uploaded via to the child’s local Principal.

They will simply need to create a short demo of no more than two minutes long showing them performing either a musical theatre song and dance, commercial dance (hip hop or street), pop song, drama improvisation or scripted drama piece. Applicants will also complete a short application form detailing why they would like to take this opportunity.

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Many former Razzamataz students have gone on to work professionally in West End shows including Hamilton, &Juliet, Matilda, School of Rock and many TV shows as well as a major film franchise. Past winners include Jess from the Seniors group at Razzamataz Medway who secured her scholarship on her seventh attempt.

“I started when I was eight because I loved to dance and I also wanted to make friends,” says Jess. “But I was so anxious and nervous that I almost quit. Throughout my time at Razzamataz, I’ve been extremely lucky playing some amazing roles. I think my biggest achievement was performing at Her Majesty’s Theatre and I remember the buzz I felt the whole day. I was amazed that I actually won the scholarship, it didn’t feel real because I had tried so hard each year but I’ve now learned that you shouldn’t give up because every year I came back stronger.”

Jess’s story echoes what many past scholarship winners say as Denise explains: “Many of our past scholarship winners have told us that winning gave them a boost of confidence and the belief that they could achieve if they set their mind to it. Offering children these life opportunities are part of the Razzamataz ethos and makes us all proud to be part of the network. Even during these very challenging times, we wanted to send out a very clear message to our students and their families that we are there for them, supporting and encouraging them to never give up on their dreams.”

Source: BM Magazine

Franchise Theatre School Students Show Support For NHS And Community

May 5, 2020

We may be living in strange times but that hasn’t stopped a franchise theatre school network of students, families and staff from reaching out and doing some wonderful things to help their communities and the heroes in the NHS and keyworker roles.

There are almost 50 Razzamataz Theatre Schools across the UK and Ireland and each school plays an important part in their communities, with the children using their performing arts skills to bring cheer and help their neighbours through the lockdown.

“We are so proud of our whole Razzamataz community and how the children have responded to the situation they find themselves in,” says Denise Hutton-Gosney, MD and Founder of Razzamataz. “As a network, we have always worked hard to raise money for local charities and the children are used to using their talents to do this but it has been absolutely heart-warming to see how they have used their own initiative to bring smiles to people’s faces.”

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Millie, an Inters student from Razzamataz York wrote a song which was performed by York District Hospital’s Maternity Unity. Millie wrote a Fighting Covid-19 song, which was performed by midwife mum Nicky Wasawo and her amazing co-workers. Not only are they fighting hard, saving lives and delivering babies, but they also made time to create a wonderful uplifting video.

Over the Easter break, many of the students, their families and Principals and staff, did their bit to spread some cheer. Students Mia and Harry from Razzamataz Sutton Coldfield spent their time in lockdown making little Easter gifts for their local Care Home, Principal Jessica from Razzamataz Brentwood and Hornchurch arranged for Easter Eggs to be sent to the local doctor’s surgery from the whole team to say thank you and cheering up the community, Razzamataz Durham student Logan and family produced a fun Easter egg trail for the children in their village.

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Using their performing arts skills, Grace from Razzamataz Medway Seniors has been singing for the elderly outside so they can watch from their balcony, Luke from the Inters class at Maidstone has been singing for his neighbours on his driveway and Razamataz Maidstone students and team also put together a song, You Wil Be Found, to thank our NHS and keyworkers and to bring the Razz Family together.

To recognise all the lovely things that the students are doing, Razzamataz Medway has established a Razz Acts of Kindness Week, where students can win a prize for their amazing efforts. Cerys from Inters has been volunteering at Rochester Hygiene Bank and Gracie from Minis has shown tremendous empathy by baking scones and chocolate cakes to give to her 89 year old neighbour who recently lost his wife.

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Also going above and beyond are students at Razzamataz Tonbridge. Senior student, Lola Bromley, has been posting Razz Rainbows through all the front doors in her road and has taken it upon herself to deliver a weekly basket of vegetables from her family’s allotment to local vulnerable elderly residents. Junior student Callum Coleman, has also been posting Razz Rainbows through every single door in his area and has also started a dog walking rota for his elderly neighbours.

Principals are also doing their bit to help in their communities. Four Principals have taken on keyworker roles, Michael French, Principal Razzamataz Barnet, Georgia Davies Principal Razzamataz Bristol North, Caroline Kavanagh, Principal Razzamataz Horsham and Michaela Crumpton, Principal Bristol South.

Marc Kelly, Principal of Razzamataz Hackney will be taking on a challenge to raise money for the NHS and our own charity Future Fund. Marc started his Razzamataz journey as a teacher in the Carlisle school before having his own school in Hackney so he will be travelling the distance of 467km over twenty days with the help of his mum and dad. Marc will be running, dad will be cycling and mum will be walking with the aim of doing a combined 22.5km per day.

To celebrate our community of keyworkers, every week students are asked to Nominate a Hero via the Razzamataz social media channels. There will be different gifts every week, from a champagne high tea, massage, pedicure, spa day and beer keg. It’s our small way of saying a heartfelt thank you for everything they are doing.

“Like every business, we wanted to show our gratitude to our keyworkers and NHS staff and this is just one small way in which we can do our bit,” adds Denise. “The resilience that our children and teams have shown in this difficult time has been incredible and we could not be prouder of them all.”

With more than twenty years’ experience in the theatre school industry, Razzamataz were quick to respond to school closures and have rolled out Razzamataz Online classes to offer continuity in training for students and a lifeline for families. “I don’t think any of us realised just how isolated we had become and how much we truly missed our Saturday sessions until we were able to join in today,” one of the many parent testimonials.

For people looking to open up their own theatre school or just find out more about the franchise industry in general, Razzamataz is running a series of online Discovery Dens where you can meet the team and some of the franchisees and find out about the benefits of running a flexible business, which provides so much happiness to so many people in your community.

Source: Franchising

Razzamataz Supporting New Parents Through The Pandemic

April 25, 2020

Having a baby and toddler is a blessing but it of course comes with its challenges. Through this pandemic, the difficulties have manifested for everyone so it’s no wonder parents are stressed and anxious.

It is common to feel overwhelmed trying to care for a baby and a toddler and what gets most people through, is being part of a community of other new parents so you can discuss sleeping, feeding and any worries as well as laugh at all the shared funny experiences that you have.

The impact that Covid-19 will have on mental health is still to be discussed but what is known is that there is a lack of support through interaction with others. This combined with parents having to juggle work and other commitments, it truly is a difficult time for many.

The Dragons’ Den backed franchise Razzamataz Theatre Schools launched its Early Years classes as a result of the demand for more activities for younger children and their parents to do together. Classes start at just six months and are aligned to early years social and emotional development. This means that during the classes, the children get involved in sensory play, creative learning and interactive experiences, which will help to support their individual milestones. But as well as the benefits to the child, the classes have provided a sanctuary for parents to meet up to share experiences and create memories.

With the closure of schools, nurseries and play centres, Razzamataz made the decision to take their classes online, to provide the social interaction that has been missing. In order to do this, the classes have been kept to limited numbers to allow teachers to give one to one time and a respite for busy parents.

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“In much the same way in which you would go to a class with your baby and young child, these classes have been structured so the teacher can engage with each student so the parent can be confident that we will keep the child’s attention,” says Denise Hutton-Gosney, MD and Founder of Razzamataz. “The aim of the class is to give parents a respite and a chance to have quality time with their child. We won’t be asking them to buy in lots of additional toys or equipment, everything that we use in the class are just common household items because we understand that parents don’t have the time to be prepping for each class.”
As well as enjoying the activities where the children are brought into an exciting adventure in performing arts, there will be time at the end of the session for parents to interact and feel less alone. The classes have only just rolled out and already the feedback has been hugely positive as a parent at Razzamataz Sutton Coldfield explains: “Thank you and can’t express the gratitude I have for you and Razzamataz and being so ‘on it’ at this time. As a single mum in a one-bedroom flat you’ve been an absolute life saver of Isiah’s and mine’s mental health.”

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To keep families going through the week, the teacher will set little activities that they can work on and show in class, giving the children a strong focus and provide some structure, which is very much missing at the moment for many people. “We really miss our Tiny Tots classes with Tara, I am looking forward to breaking up the week, having some fun and being a part of a group again,” says mum from Razzamataz Tyrone. “Sharing our experiences with each other now being at home with young children will be a nice change during these strange times.”

For some parents, taking the classes online has given them the flexibility to be part of their child’s exciting performing arts journey as a Razzamataz Tots mum in Omagh, Northern Ireland explains: “As a teacher, I haven’t had the opportunity to attend classes with my daughter as she normally goes with her granny. I am looking forward to experiencing the class with her myself now with the new online classes, she can’t wait to see Tara and Razz Ted again.”

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As well as the regular classes, there will be some special additional opportunities including fitness classes that parents can join in with too. Many of the schools are also going live on Facebook with fun activities such as quizzes, drama games and bedtime reading.

The online classes will replicate a real class as much as possible, with dedicated time throughout so children and their parents can ask questions to teachers, connect with their classmates and become confident performers on screen. For parents, there is a pay as you go option, with no monthly commitment or direct debit so families can dip in and out depending on their circumstances. The classes are open to existing and new students.

Source: Franchising

Cornwall drama school for kids offers free online lessons during coronavirus lockdown

April 9, 2020

A drama school in Cornwall, Cinta Stage, is offering free classes online to entertain children and stimulate their creativity during the coronavirus lockdown.

Cinta Stage, based in Par and Fowey, currently does live lessons on Facebook and Instagram.

Jessiny Mitchell is behind the project. She created Cinta Stage in October 2018.

The 28-year-old, from Fowey, said: “After teaching for a drama school out in Dubai I came back to Cornwall in April 2018 and thought I’d be able to pick up some freelance teaching work but was shocked to realise that in my local community and the surrounding areas there were no performing arts provisions for children and young people.

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“I wasn’t prepared to get a job that I wasn’t passionate about thus I spent the summer of 2018 figuring out how to set up a business (which was a challenge in itself).”

Jessiny started with just six students and has more than 50 now.

“Over the last 15 years I’ve worked with children and young people around the world in a creative capacity,” she said.

“I truly believe in breaking boundaries, enabling the younger generation to create original work while eliciting creative self-expression, critical thinking and artistry.

“My aim is to make the performing arts accessible to everyone, regardless of their means, background or ability.”

To give equal opportunities to youngers in Cornish communities, Jessiny keeps the costs of classes lower than childcare and offers scholarships.

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She does not hold auditions either, to ensure everyone is welcome.

She added: “The ultimate dream is to purchase a derelict building steeped in Cornish history to house Cinta Stage HQ; a creative space with a fully functioning theatre, studios, relevant costume and prop storage as well as the means to support other creatives to host their own classes at an affordable and welcoming price.”

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, Jessiny now runs her school from home.

“I have had to close our doors for the foreseeable future – which as a solo self-employed teacher I’m sure you can understand how difficult a decision that was,” she explained.

“In light of school closures and the panic from parents surrounding home-schooling I have set up Cinta Stage from home. I have created a free resource folder full of inspiration, activities, go to drama games, mazes, puzzles, word searches, crafting activities and much more for tiny tots up to teens.

“Alongside this I am doing free weekly classes via Facebook and Instagram live. These sessions are happening three times a week with more in the pipeline.”

Jessiny said her classes develop children’s emotional intelligence.

By Charlotte Becquart

Source: Cornwall Live