May 2000

MUM SETS UP NATIONAL INTERNET SITE FOR BUSY PARENTS

As memories of the Easter holidays begin to fade, the long summer haul approaches all to fast filling parents across the country with fear and trepidation...

A little over the top perhaps, but for many parents the question of what to do with our children over the holidays really does raise the blood pressure. We're not just talking the odd day out here, most of us have at least six weeks to fill. Finding enough activities to keep the kids out of trouble and ourselves sane is not an easy process.

However, this year help is at hand. Bambi Gardiner, a mother of two small children from Slindon, Sussex has created a brand new website to help solve these problems.

www.wizziwiz.co.uk, a complete guide to what to do, where to go, events and activities all for children aged up to 14 years goes live on 1 June across the South of England. With over 7,000 attractions as well as numerous events, the launch of wizziwiz will be the culmination of many months of hard work for Bambi and her co-worker, Claire Pratt from Chichester. Together with a team of researchers and data entry personnel they aim for the site to cover the whole of England by the end of September.

One feature of the site is the events listing. Parents and children can find out what's going on in their area at any time from carnivals, theatre shows, concerts to special events at attractions. The beauty of the internet is that all of the information can be constantly updated and improved.

'The idea came about from my own frustration at finding things to do with the children,' she explains. 'There are numerous activities in your own area but finding out about them is not always easy, especially if you are a busy or working mum.'

Even if you do spot something of interest, inevitably the details will have been lost or thrown our just when you want them. The idea of the internet site is perfect as the details will always be easily accessible and will never disappear in the chaos that often comes with young children!

wizziwiz.co.uk allows users to search using one or a combination of search criteria from town or county to activity type, broader categories, specific keywords or combinations of these. So, while you can use the site to find out what's on in your area you can also have a look at other areas you may visiting either for the day or for holidays.

Juggling the needs of her two small children, Harry 4 years and 1 year old Sophie with the demands of setting up a new business has not been easy. But, she says, working for yourself has the benefit that you can have more flexible working hours although this has meant a large number of late nights sourcing information.

Her young son is very enthusiastic about checking out the information on the site. 'Harry loves the little alien we have created. The idea behind him is that he has visited earth to find out what goes on for kids. Children can become 'wizziwiz Space Rangers' and write in about places they have visited and activities they are involved in to encourage an interest in writing and drawing.'

Coming from a background in marketing (Bambi also helps out with the marketing for her husband's Portsmouth based company Gardiner Laminating) the whole concept of setting up wizziwiz has been an exciting challenge.

'The reaction we've had so far has been overwhelming and we're all very excited about the future of the site. Everyone here has involvement with children and hopefully that will ensure that we can make wizziwiz a useful and relevant resource.'

For further information, please contact: Bambi Gardiner email bambi.marketing@wizziwiz.co.uk, tel 023 9232 1222, fax 023 9220 1111