January 25, 2019 by Leahchowdhry 0 Comments

Onsite childcare in the workplace – Will it bring the mothers back to work?

The inclusion of onsite childcare in the workplace means that parents no longer have to work from home, juggling the baby in one arm and paperwork in the other. In October of last year, it was reported that 74% of mothers in England were in employment, and this figure is up from 69% the year before. But can that figure increase further?


Parents will agree that arranging childcare can be very stressful, especially during the school holidays. Onsite childcare helps to take that stress away. Now parents will be able to have their child right there with them, and they can go check on them anytime! In some European countries, the majority of mothers work full-time, but in the UK the majority of mothers work part-time hours. This discrepancy is largely due to the differences in the cost of motherhood. Whilst there is a high cost of motherhood in the UK, which is worsened by the gender pay gap, in countries like Spain or Belgium the pay difference is less than 3%.


So, what can corporations in the UK do to change this? The obvious answer would be for more offices and companies to hire onsite childcare. However, this is easier said than done as it comes at a cost. However, for those companies who can’t afford onsite childcare, perhaps the solution is to allow parents to occasionally bring their children to work? Of course, this depends on the type of business environment and the demands of the job.


On the whole, the availability of onsite childcare in some establishments has made it a lot easier for more parents to return to work after having children.

January 25, 2019 by Leahchowdhry 0 Comments

This Girl CAN!

Earlier this year our Founder, Leah became the first British Asian Woman to swim The English Channel.


After the swim Leah was determined to help young women get into sport especially swimming as she saw so many physical and mental benefits. She has partnered with Sports England and This Girl Can Campaign to share her story to hopefully encourage others, check out her inspirational story here:



January 25, 2019 by Leahchowdhry 0 Comments

Time to update the Wedding supplier list … Wedding Creches are here to stay!

The UK wedding industry is a big business that has always consisted of a long list of suppliers to achieve the big day. Now being added to the normal list of florists, photographers and caterers is a growing trend: the wedding creche.


Many couples prefer not to invite children to a wedding to avoid the risk of crying, running or screaming (usual kid stuff) disrupting the ceremony. But if you have close family members with young children that you want to be included or have children yourself, you can’t be selective over which those who can and can’t be invited. And let’s be honest, in some cases if a parent can’t bring their children, they may not be able to attend at all. 


According to childcare.co.uk there’s been a 168% increase in the demand for wedding crèche services over the last two years. “We first saw a spike in requests for wedding crèches in March 2016 and have seen a steady year-on-year increase during the traditional wedding season of April to October,” says Richard Conway, founder of the website. “Nannies who offer the service through the site say the main reason for the increase is couples having children before marriage, whilst another was couples wanting to have children at their wedding but not wanting the hassle.”


At Harry and Meghan’s wedding in May, they arranged a children’s entertainer during the afternoon reception to provide a relaxed break for the bridesmaids and pageboys away from the formality.

This is where we at Pop Up Party & Play can step in and help. We are experienced at providing creches at weddings as well as many other events and can provide a couple of nannies for a few hours or full onsite childcare for 8 hours, whatever suits you best!

January 24, 2019 by Leahchowdhry 0 Comments

With the world becoming healthier and cleaner, why are allergies in children increasing?

As a British 20-something year old, my childhood was still in the time when eating mud and the 5 second rule was common knowledge. As an individual with a British-Black diet I have a particularly strong stomach and am one of those people who do not believe in ‘sell-by dates’. If it smells good, it is good!


Over the past few years allergies, especially among children are becoming increasingly common. Maybe as I was in fact a child I don’t remember Susie’s wheat allergy or half the class being unable to drink their milk at lunchtime, but from my foggy recollection allergies were almost unheard of.

A study done by The University of Southampton showed uncommon allergies such as the Cow’s milk allergy are becoming increasingly common, with 1 in 40 children now affected. The UK’s Cow’s milk allergy is known to be the highest in Europe.



Now for the big question, Why?


There are many theories but the big two are our diet & hygiene. One theory blames our modern Western diet.  Foods are now high in sugar, fats, carbs & pumped full of God-knows-what (but of course we all knew this). ‘My child doesn’t eat genetically modified food but still has an allergy list as long as my arm’ I hear you cry. It has been proven that our only Organic, free from GMO, naturally reared ingredients are still having the opposite effect! A test done between children in Italy and those in a rural country in Africa showed that the bacteria in African children was actually better than the Italians’ due to their natural diet.


There is also another factor to consider, Cleanliness. Bubble-wrapping as it’s called may be having the opposite effect on the children of this generation. Instead of keeping them out of harm’s way it is causing further issues. Just like with injections, we are given a bit of a virus allowing our bodies to fight off the disease and build its immunity against it – we are not allowing children this same chance.

So believe it or not mums and dads, just like we had, our children need some dirt in their diet …  

January 24, 2019 by Leahchowdhry 0 Comments

Our CEO went back to school to chat about her feats of Fundraising

Our CEO Leah went back to her old school after her raising £155,000 by swimming the English Channel to discuss the forms of fundraising she has done, how and why.  

main-Rowena and Leah 2

At St John’s we are always interested to hear the inspiring stories of the lives that our OJs go on to lead after leaving school and Rowena Cole, The Head, was recently delighted to meet with OJ Leah Chowdhry (South 2008-2010) to talk about her significant fundraising activity.


In July 2018, Leah became the first British Asian woman to swim the English Channel. This feat of endurance, which took 14 hours and 44 minutes and involved many challenges including being stung all over her body by jellyfish, raised over £150,000 for Cancer Research UK and projects in India focused on educating young girls and ending child sex trafficking. Leah was also named Woman of the Year 2018 at the Asian Business Awards in recognition of both her charity work and business; she has a successful children’s event business, ‘Pop up, Party and Play’, which she established with the purpose of making childcare more accessible.   


Leah’s Channel swim was not her first foray into fundraising.  At the age of seven, she gave up fizzy drinks and sweets to raise money for blind children in India and, as a teenager, she developed her passion for charity work volunteering at a Sri Lankan orphanage. Then in 2015, Leah ran the marathon for Unicef and raised £11,000 . It was following this experience that she had the idea to swim the Channel; As Leah explains: “I raised a lot of funds doing the marathon but what did I do to challenge stereotypes, raise awareness of issues?  In Asian Society there are not many swimmers, and I wanted to promote this to Asian women, as well as raising money for two important charities.”

This month, Leah attended a dinner at Buckingham Palace, following an invitation from HRH The Prince of Wales, where a project to empower women and girls across SE Asia was discussed.


Rowena Cole, The Head, comments: “When I heard of Leah’s recent achievements, I was keen to invite her back into School so that I could meet this impressive, dynamic young woman in person. She is passionate, committed and deeply invested in giving something back and making a difference – traits that we aim to instil in all our pupils. What Leah has accomplished already shows how much one individual can achieve and we will watch her undoubted continued success with interest.” 

January 11, 2019 by Leahchowdhry 0 Comments

Our Founder is now the face of BSc Childhood Studies at The University of Bristol!

Our Founder Leah is now the face of BSc Childhood Studies at her university The University of Bristol.


She was asked to talk about what she has learnt through the degree and what it has helped her achieve. 


Our Founder Leah is now the face of BSc Childhood Studies at her university The University of Bristol.


She was asked to talk about what she has learnt through the degree and what it has helped her achieve.