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GoodBye 2011......

Posted on 31 December 2011
GoodBye 2011......

And so here we are, at the end of another year, and what a year it has been! And a very quick year too!

The plan was to work with and link to as many child, family and wedding orientated people as possible to see how we could work together and support one another. I think it fair to say I certainly did this. January alone saw the meeting of Claire Hunter from True Essence Images (wedding and portrait photography); Gina Griffiths from ByGina (wedding planning, stationery, jewellery); Vicky Lloyd from NEDay Crafts (crafts for kids); Louise Northwood Social Media Marvel, who looks after NorthEast area for Addiply; Janine Rudin from Birth Basics (antenatal services and support in North Tyneside and Newcastle); Julie Charlton from Painted Faces by Julie (face painting and glitter tattoos) to name but a few. I have to say all these ladies are fabulous and put their heart and soul into their work, and are always willing to help.

I even managed a few networking meetings with Newcastle Business Mums (evening networking for mums in business) and NE Mums BusinessClub (daytime networking for mums in business). We attended the NorthEast Baby Roadshow in March, giving us a chance to share with exhibitors and visitors what Kids Deserve the Best has to offer, along with the assistance we had on the day from Catherine and Alison, 2 fabulous nannies who have been very supportive with what we are trying to do (huge thanks to you both for your support!).

The sourcing of Paediatric First Aid training continued in 2011 with 2day Ofsted Approved courses being run alternative months by the fabulous guys at Blue Tiger Training – after I had completed the training myself I don’t know what amazed my other half more – the fact that I used the word ‘epiglottis’ or that I used it correctly in a sentence! It was because of the explanations given by the trainers Mike and Claire that this was possible. The training is done from a ‘real life’ point of view with continuous updated information from Mike’s paramedic training as well as situations you might actually come across in a home and family setting from Claire. I very much look forward to continuing supporting each other into 2012.

Later in the year I was to become acquainted with more lovely ladies, and I was introduced to the fabulous Allison who looks after Get Set Kids the community magazine for families with children in the County Durham area, the quality of the magazine is superb and in went a joint advert to tell people about the work of Kids Deserve the Best and Blue Tiger Training. And on the same day I met the lovely Louise from Bump Buddies (antenatal services and support throughout Teesside, Durham and North Yorkshire).

In 2011 Kids Deserve the Best were pleased to be asked to provide Wedding Day Childcare in several venues across the North East. We have been to Jesmond Dene House; Woodhill Hall, Otterburn; Matfen Hall, Slaley; Ramside Hall, Durham; Lumley Castle, Durham. We were offered the opportunity to attend The North East Brides Up North Tweet Up in Beamish, fabulously organised by Julia Braime where various wedding orientated businesses got together for a great night of networking. This was one night I did not want to miss out on and I will not forget the kindness shown by Matt Ethan who answered my Twitter request of ‘can anyone give me a lift please!’ I very much look forward to what 2012 holds for Julia and her Brides Up North venture.

Some of you may know that I love Twitter (@SarahKDTB) I have met all of the above from Twitter. Another marvellous Twitter find was Simon from WayFresh. Simon deserves an extra special thank you as they have been responsible for giving my website its fabulous new look. Here we have someone that goes that extra mile for customers – I still smile when I remember the box of personalised birthday cakes delivered on my business birthday.

Three other big things happened in 2011. Kids Deserve the Best were delighted to be amongst the exhibitors at NorthEast Expo in Gosforth, next to Blue Tiger Training of course. I went in 2010 as a visitor and in 2011 I could not miss the opportunity to be amongst 180 other businesses and over 1000 visitors in one location, telling people what we do. Emergency Childcare, Babysitting and Wedding Day Childcare seemed to prove very interesting. I cannot wait to do it again on 18 April 2012, although I do need to find something that will match Claire’s ‘would you like one of our Blue Tiger biscuits, they come with some free leaflets’. A very fun day!

I have been a part of Newcastle Business Mums group for the last 3 years, the group is made up of ‘Mums who are in Business’ and this is a great way to share ideas and support one another. The quarterly sessions run on an evening so Mums can have quality grown up time with like minded people. Started by Vicki Stone, the group now has over 80 members and each meeting brings someone new. Vicki always manages to find a different motivational speaker for each session, with nibbles and a chance for speed networking. For me the best nibbles were the chocolate covered strawberries (hint, hint Vicki!). In November 2011, the group had been nominated for a WIN Award for Best Women’s network, so I took the opportunity to attend the glitzy evening at The Newcastle Gateshead Hilton and show support. This was a difficult category as the other nominee was NE BusinessMumsClub, which has meeting options across different locations in the North East. These meetings are during the daytime, in a child friendly location so children are able to come along. There really is support for Mums in Business to suit your location and availability. Given the work of both networking groups, the WIN judges could not decide who should be the clear winner, so both groups were declared winners of the Award.

Kids Deserve the Best have supported The Tiny Lives Fund by exhibiting at a few of their Nearly New Sales, all to raise funds for the Special Care Baby Unit at Newcastle’s RVI Hospital. In addition we were lucky enough to have a presence at Celebrating Multiples Birthday party in September, this fabulous event brings together families who have or are expecting twins, triplets or more than one child. After a few really rainy days beforehand, the actual day was bright and sunny. It was lovely to meet such lovely people. I hope to take part and support both of these causes again in 2012.

Recommendations make me smile! It also makes me smile when a family or nanny comes to me because they have heard about me from a friend or colleague. It must mean I am doing something right!

I have loved going out to meet the families who have been considering choosing a Nanny as their form of childcare, as well as the meeting of over 130 nannies in one year! That is a minimum of 260 references to check throughout the year...... I have been able to reach families and nannies from Alnwick to Hartlepool, Bishop Auckland, Catterick Garrison, Durham and Darlington, Hexham, and the whole circle in the middle, covering Newcastle, Tyne and Wear and Northumberland. My approach is ‘If I can help someone, I will most certainly will’.

I already had a reputation for liking custard creams, (in as much that some people bring them to meetings for me) and in 2011 I gained a liking for Toffee Dodgers.

And here’s to the end of 2011. I am very lucky to have received such fabulous help and support this year with Kids Deserve the Best, thank you to my family, friends and colleagues you have been marvellous! Looking forward to whatever exciting things await in 2012.

Without further ado, here is my HAPPY NEW YEAR! Love and best wishes to you all xx

1 comment

Matt Ethan Commented on 14 Feb 2012

just read this! Am now reminiscing on our time at Beamish!

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Sarah Parkin runs Kids Deserve the Best Nanny Agency, providing support to families with their childcare requirements including wedding day childcare, babysitting and emergency childcare. Area of coverage includes the following regions across the North East of England, Gosforth, Great Park, Jesmond, Heaton, Killingworth, Shiremoor, Longbenton, Holystone, Forest Hall, Morpeth, Cramlington, Ashington, Blyth, Ponteland, Kingston Park, Westerhope, Whitley Bay, Tynemouth, Monkseaton, Wallsend, South Shields, Tynedale, Hexham, Prudhoe, Stocksfield, Corbridge, Consett, Rowlands Gill, Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, Washington, Sunderland, Durham, Wearside, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Northumberland.