13th February 2020
Read how 2 music-loving mums became Boogie Mites licensees and developed rewarding businesses that have been recognised for making a difference in their local community. Sue and Nicole have also put their stamp on the Boogie Mites brand, introducing local authority partnership working and intergenerational music sessions, helping Boogie Mites to grow and develop to meet the challenges of a changing world.
|“Little did I know that in three years I would be accepting a Shaping Business Award for my work with Boogie Mites from the City I was raised in, have raised my family in, for a business I love running.”
Nicole Heard, Boogie Mites Licensee
I started Boogie Mites music sessions for parents and 2-4 year olds when on extended maternity leave with my third child in 2004. The music and support was supplied by Harriet Thomas, founder of Boogie Mites in London where I had taken my boys before moving to Portsmouth in 2002. The thing that I originally loved about Harriet’s sessions was the fabulous funky music that was enjoyed as much by adults as it was by children, uplifting everyone’s day, and the use of recycled materials for props and instruments that not only kept cost low but also cared for the planet.
At Boogie Mites, I witnessed first- hand the incredible benefits that regular early years music practise offers for children’s development and I made it my mission to share this information more widely with teachers and parents. In partnership with Harriet and collaborating with the Portsmouth Early Years Team, I developed a practitioner training programme and resource pack of 25 original Boogie Mites songs to support the launch of the Government National Strategy for Letters and Sounds Phase 1 (3-5 years). This was the first of a series of Boogie Mites music programmes, developed to support children’s development in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage.
Along that journey, my children grew and I was able to devote more time to my Boogie Mites work. I became co-director of Boogie Mites with Harriet and I have overseen Boogie Mites expand into local government funded Family Learning, early years practitioner training and franchise ownership.
2020 is already a memorable year for me, not only for receiving the Shaping Portsmouth Business Award but also because it marks the start of Boogie Mites’ hugely exciting role as music consultant and sole music training provider for the UK Bright Horizons Nursery Group.
My journey with Boogie Mites began three years ago whist researching franchise opportunities in the area. As a teacher and parent from Portsmouth, I had heard of Boogie Mites and the great work they did. Little did I know that in three years I would be accepting a Shaping Business Award for my work with Boogie Mites from the City I was raised in, have raised my family in, for a business I love running.
From my first session of viewing a community Boogie Mites Music session I knew Boogie Mites was for me. With a supportive Head Office, based in Fratton, I have been able to develop and extend the reach of Boogie Mites. They embraced my initiative to trial an Intergenerational model, bringing pre-school children into care-homes and day centres for the elderly, for shared music making sessions. They funded an evaluation report that considered the positive impact on well-being for everyone involved. They also supported the move from sole trader to a not-for-profit CIC which reflects our social mission.
My long-term goals are to continue to grow Boogie Mites Community Projects Portsmouth CIC enabling more families, carers and older people to enjoy the beneficial effects of our music, props and unique handmade instruments. Through Boogie Mites, I can continue contribute to our community, supporting families fighting isolation and sharing magical musical experiences.
My 2020 has got off to a great start by receiving the Shaping Portsmouth Business Award 2010. I have lots of exciting projects on the horizon including extending my team of teachers and running the children’s music activities at this year’s Victorious Music Festival. If you’re coming to the festival, remember to come and meet me, Harriet and Sue in the children’s area!
If you’re thinking of taking on a license of Boogie Mites, I would suggest, do it! It’s one of the best decisions I ever made, I smile every day...I just love it!Nicole Heard, Boogie Mites Licensee Portsmouth and Petersfield
“I like Boogie Mites because it fits in to those areas of development, from listening skills, enhancing self esteem and confidence to supporting children with their phonics which is the foundation to reading and writing.Trish Kerr, Licensee Southampton
The rewards are that it’s all down to you..so when it’s successful it’s down to what you put into it. And you get some brilliant feedback from parents and settings: we do make a difference.Pauline Nixon, Havant and Hayling Island
Instruments made from recycled materials to support the environment
Strong community focus with option for funded projects
Research and evidence backed Music Programmes