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Bourne party hire business launch new indoor bouncy castles to brighten kids' lockdown life

A family business hit hard by Covid-19 restrictions, has bounced back with a novel idea to boost trade and help children cope with the confines of lockdown.

Bourne couple Steve and Helen Bogan launched It’s Funtime six years ago, hiring out bouncy castles and soft play equipment for children’s parties.

The ongoing closure of village halls and public venues during lockdown has had a significant impact on their business.

But they hit upon the idea of hiring out scaled-down, home-friendly versions of their inflatables and mini soft play sets.

It's Funtime owners Steve and Helen Bogan
It's Funtime owners Steve and Helen Bogan

“Normally we cater for bigger parties at village halls, but all of the halls are closed so it’s decimated our winter trade," said Helen.

“We started getting enquiries from parents saying ‘we really want to do something, what can you do for us?’, which got us thinking about what would be possible.”

At 6ft high and measuring 2m by 2m, the castles are small in stature, but Helen believes they make a big difference to children struggling with lockdown life.

The indoor bouncy castles need 3m by 3m floorspace
The indoor bouncy castles need 3m by 3m floorspace

“Parents are desperate to give their children something different to do to break the monotony,” she added.

“Now we are doing some second and third birthdays where these children have barely left the house."

They have had to reduce their normal delivery area because of travel restrictions, but still hire as far as Stamford, Peterborough and Spalding.

And a raft of measures are in place to ensure safety.

A mini soft play set
A mini soft play set

“We don’t go into homes,” Helen explained.

“We deliver equipment to the doorstep with a YouTube video of how to set it up. It’s basically a DIY entertainment package.

“We sanitise the equipment and quarantine it for 72 hours between hires to make sure it’s safe.”

Helen cannot see venues reopening before next winter, but the response to their home party hire is encouraging and more mini soft play sets have been ordered to meet demand.

She added: “We have a lot of lost income to make up for, but it’s really nice to know we can give people something to look forward to and make the next couple of days a bit different for them”

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