Kate Fischer describes how the workspace and crèche helped her find her feet – and then became part of her everyday life
Challenges: Kate was mum to a 6 month old baby. She was co-founder and director of a community interest company in the U.S.A and wanted to work remotely when her husband was posted to London with his firm. She had no other family here to help with the childcare and no local professional or parent network.
How Bloomsbury Beginnings helped: over the past 2 years, Kate and her daughter have used our workspace and crèche twice a week on a regular basis. It’s been a two-way relationship as Kate has provided invaluable volunteer support, using her skills to run focus groups for us and establish a strategic advisory group of local parents, which now sets the agenda and run events for Bloomsbury Beginnings. Kate’s involvement has been instrumental in integrating her into the wider community. She is now expecting her second baby and returning to Chicago in the autumn.
In Kate’s words; how has Bloomsbury Beginnings helped ‘change your world’? It’s nearly two years since my husband and I started the overwhelming process of house hunting in a new country with a brand new baby. With no family or friends in this big new city, and knowing my husband’s job was going to be demanding, we knew I’d need some support as our baby grew. I’d started my own new business months before my husband accepted the opportunity to move abroad; I was hopeful that I could continue this long distance but clueless about the childcare options which would allow me to do this. I was also struggling to decide whether I was willing to trade in time I was enjoying with our daughter to focus wholly on my career.
Discovering Bloomsbury Beginnings meant I never really had to make that decision. With a flexible workspace and crèche, as well as ongoing support for business entrepreneurs, it seemed too good to be true, but once I started visiting here, things started to fall into place.
Attending Bloomsbury Beginnings has been a huge factor in how I’ve settled into the neighbourhood here. My ability to work, parent and participate in the community is closely connected to the mission of this very humble, yet I’d argue, powerful organisation. My daughter has blossomed in the care of the crèche; three wonderful women work hard to make sure she is happy and healthy and I am able to keep my business afloat – and my mind at ease – just a few feet away in the workspace.
Bloomsbury Beginnings has offered my daughter and I a space where we can both go and benefit separately. At the end of each session, we go home better people. I feel accomplished and excited to spend the rest of the day with my daughter. I’ve usually completed tasks that would otherwise, on days without the crèche, create anxiety. I get to enjoy a warm cup of tea from beginning to end, some time alone, an occasional adult conversation and a chunk of time to do what I feel needs to get done. I must admit, I’ve also done as much online shopping and travel planning some weeks as actual work, but this is just as valuable to us all. I’ve benefited from babysitter recommendations, travel tips and shared local knowledge. I’ve met other parents who I get to wave hello to at parks and feel as a result that I’ve genuinely become part of my community. And best yet, I get to share this entire experience with my daughter.