A mum who set up her own business has received a helping hand from the firm she once worked for.
Sarah Briggs, 34, from South Shields, spent three years with energy efficiency company Eaga plc before leaving to have her first child.
The break enabled her to spend time with her baby as well as inspired her to set up soft play business Hooray Soft Play, which loans play equipment for private functions.
Now, thanks to business funding from a trust set up by her previous employer she is able to offer her brand as a franchise.
The Eaga Trust was set up to promote employment, employee ownership and engagement in the workplace and offers support to 5,600 registered members, who worked for Eaga from January 11, 2000 until April 21, 2011, when it was acquired by Carillion plc.
Sarah said: “I knew from experience that, while there are lots of soft play centres, there often isn’t much for very young children to do at private events. Even so, my husband Jonathan and I have been amazed at the demand.”
The loan will help with the cost of setting up the franchise, building a website and branding the van.
Richard Marr, chief operating officer at the trust, said: “Sarah is passionate about her business and has very clear ideas for its future and we are delighted to have been able to help her.”
For information on Hooray Soft Play or to book equipment, call 07912 370789 or visit the company’s Facebook page or website www.hooraysoftplay.co.uk.
Anyone who thinks they may be eligible for Trust membership should register at www.eagatrust.com.