New business venture is child’s play for Hebburn sisters

New childrens paly group, Role Play.
From left Lesley Cuthbertson and Mellissa Hogg
New childrens paly group, Role Play. From left Lesley Cuthbertson and Mellissa Hogg

Two Hebburn sisters have turned child’s play into a thriving business – by creating a miniature village for youngsters.

Melissa Hogg and Lesley Cuthbertson have launched Role Play for under-eights to go and play in their own little world.

New childrens paly group, Role Play. From left Lesley Cuthbertson and Mellissa Hogg

New childrens paly group, Role Play. From left Lesley Cuthbertson and Mellissa Hogg

The village is based at Hebburn Church Hall, in Victoria Road, Hebburn, and gives youngsters the chance to dress up as police officers, hairdressers or builders.

They can also take a drive around the track or have a picnic on the grass under the indoor tree – all under 
the watchful eye of their parents.

Mrs Cuthbertson said: “A friend of ours came back from holiday and told us about somewhere she had taken her children which was similar to what we are now providing.

“I did some research and found there was nothing like it in the area. I’ve got two little ones and I just thought it would be ideal for little ones.

“We’ve got lots of ideas for the future with the introduction of baby classes and will dedicated sessions for youngsters with disabilities.

Lesley Cuthbertson

“It did take a long time to get a change of use for the building, but once we got that in April, that’s when the work really started to transform the building.”

As well as the play village, the venue has an on-site cafe, offering a range of snacks and refreshments, where parents can go and relax while watching their children play.

Role Play currently employs five part-time staff members and two full-time.

Mrs Cuthbertson added: “We’ve been quite shocked with the feedback we’ve received. We’ve worked really hard and to receive the feedback we are getting, it’s been amazing.

“We’ve had lots of people message us and post really positive comments, with parents saying what they enjoyed about the session and why they would be coming back.

“We’ve got lots of ideas for the future with the introduction of baby classes and will dedicated sessions for youngsters with disabilities. Everything is going really well, we just hope it continues.”

Role Play runs four sessions seven days a week at 9.30am, 11.30am 1.30pm and 3.30pm for a maximum of 20 youngsters.

Each session lasts 90 minutes and ends with storytime. Booking for sessions is advisable.

For information or to book a place or a party, visit www.facebook.com/roleplayhebburn or www.roleplayhebburn.co.uk or call 0191 489 6776.