Back in 2015 Mark Radcliffe came along to a Raising Films networking event. Also in 2015 the Raising Films founders met Charlotte Riley at an industry event. Both Mark and Charlotte talked about their ideas for an on-set childcare provision, so we played matchmaker and introduced them…
Fast forward to 2019 and we are proud, delighted and excited to preview the launch of The WonderWorks; a socially responsible childcare business and our latest Raising Films ribbon recipient…
The WonderWorks aims to set a new precedent within the film industry. How? By providing accessible, affordable and flexible support for families as the standard across film and TV productions through on-set childcare with Ofsted registered, mobile nurseries.
Founder Mark Radcliffe explains how this came to be and the motivations behind the project…
“Around three years ago I was sitting on the sofa late one evening when I was handed my partner’s laptop. “See it’s not just me,” she told me as she opened a link to the Raising Films testimonial by Sarah Solemani. We’d not long previously had our daughter Molly and it was becoming increasingly apparent that a career in film (a script supervisor) was not going to lend itself well to becoming a new mother.
It was reassuring to learn that it wasn’t just us struggling under the strain, however it was clear that this problem was going to require some thinking outside of the box. A few short weeks later and, having contacted Raising Films via Facebook, I found myself headed down to London to share what I’d come up with. In essence my solution was… if the production was going to move about, then a childcare solution would need to move as well!
Twenty-four hours later and after returning home to Scotland my phone rang. After a few mild pleasantries and some time spent discussing our mutual despising of Peppa Pig, Charlotte Riley, who I’d met at the Raising Films conference invited me back down to London for a coffee. It turned out she was both a writer and actress who had also been working on a similar solution and wondered whether there was scope to work together.
Although she was clearly nervous and doubtless intimidated by my natural charisma, we met at Starbucks in Richmond a few days later. Fast forward a few years and countless coffees, meetings and vegetarian meals later and ‘The WonderWorks’ is our gift to the world!”
Preview of the interior of The WonderWorks mobile childcare offer
“We know what it’s like to burst into tears feeling like you’re split between an audition and feeding your child, or to be left alone for weeks on end whilst your partner works away on set. We even know what it’s like to sit in the office of a major studio boss and discuss business strategy whilst your business partner pumps breast milk into a bag… Most importantly thanks to our own research, as well as that conducted by Raising Films, we know we’re not alone!
We’ve spent years talking and listening to decision makers across the UK film and TV industry and have been enormously encouraged by the support that’s apparent for this change. Nobody should ever be forced to choose between their career or their family and with organisations like Raising Films growing fast, now is the time to make the transition into a new era. But, for all the good will in the world, if it’s not done right first time, it could be a long-time before we ever get another chance.
Our intention therefore is to invest in developing world class childcare infrastructure right across the sector, beginning with the UK’s first Ofsted registered, fully mobile Early Years nursery.
Designed by Studio Hardie (the team behind ‘George’s Amazing Spaces’), ‘Molly’ is a fully-customised nursery platform able to deliver exceptional childcare facilities right to the heart of unit base, wherever it may go!”
With over 100 metres of internal space as well as a secure outdoor play area, we can cater for up to 20 children per day including an on-board library, toilets, sleeping facilities and even a fully stocked kitchen producing fresh, nutritious and delicious meals and snacks.
So much more than a simple creche, we’ve employed some of the UK’s brightest childcare professionals to design outstanding developmental practices based on the Reggio Emilio approach. This really is a fully equipped and professional run nursery, which can be packed up and transported wherever the production needs it to be.
And we’re hoping this is just the first of many offerings to the families who help make dreams a reality for people all over the world. We want to see nurseries, both mobile and otherwise available on productions right across the UK. In an industry which brings dreams to life there’s no reason why we can’t look after our own just a little better.
Together with my good friends Charlotte Riley, Tom Hardy and our frankly amazing team of childcare experts we are extremely excited and ready to do our bit.
We can only hope that the industry will adopt and embrace us and with luck we’ll see our facilities on productions all over the UK soon!”