Working together is better

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Flexible co-working space and childcare combined from Caboodle

One of the Bristol-based companies that has made the biggest difference to our working day in the last few months is Caboodle. Having been in the works since August this year, the team have slowly built-up a huge response amongst like-minded thinkers, and have turned a hopeful dream into a powerful reality. 

BS3 mothers Isabel Kearney and Ellie Freeman met through the online group Freelance Mum, where they shared a joint frustration of working freelance whilst juggling childcare. Their vision was to create something that would support them, and other parents, in this situation. Fast-forward a few months, and the addition of the talented Ellie Bowie who joined to help with the marketing and design, and Caboodle was born. 

Caboodle has been registered a community interest company since June, and since then the idea has formulated into a concrete plan – to create a flexible, happy work environment to support new parents, parents retuning to work, parents building up a business or anyone needing access to flexible childcare as a parent or carer. Their goal is to see parents able to work more flexibly, whilst earning more money, spending more quality time with their children and, most importantly, feeling more fulfilled. 

The pop-up sessions have just begun at Windmill Hill City Farm. The end purpose of this project is for the team to own their own building in Bedminster with an Ofsted-registered nursery that offers flexible workspace, but until then, Caboodle is thriving. 

There’s a variety of tickets you can purchase to suit every parent or carer’s needs, and the days pan out quite nicely with a 9.30am start and a 3.00pm finish. Upon arriving at the farm, you get the opportunity to meet the other parents taking part in these sessions, set up your desk and settle your child with Caroline Dorney of Caroline’s Crèches in the John James Room. 

Following this, for the next two hours, you can get down to work in the peaceful co-working room while knowing that your child is receiving the highest care possible. Between 12.00pm–1.00pm, you can come down to the John James Room, find your child and enjoy a healthy shared buffet lunch. Not only is this an excellent experience for gaining new contacts, it is fun and sociable, and allows you to explore the farm and to get to know the other people who you share a workspace with. 

For the final few hours, you can work peacefully while your child is cared for, then collect your child and head home at 3.00pm.

To help with the start-up costs, a fundraising page has been set up – donate here at www.localgiving.org/we-caboodle-cic. To book a session or to find out more, please call 07849 328 508, or visit www.wecaboodle.org.uk. 

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