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09/09/2015

Husband and wife expand their Welsh children’s education business backed by a £20,000 micro loan from Finance Wales

A £20,000 micro loan from the Wales Micro-business Loan Fund which is managed by Finance Wales has provided husband and wife Dean and Vicky Bowen with the working capital to expand Health Matters Education Ltd, their children’s education business.

The couple were working in health promotion in schools when they spotted a gap in the curriculum for health and fitness education for 2 – 11 year olds.

Today, the Welshpool-based company sells its fun and active ‘Busy Feet’ Explorers toolkits and ‘Brush Your Teeth’ packs which contain high-quality resources that are a mix of songs, dance and interactive activities that educate children about nutrition, exercise and health.

Both are used by early years childcare providers and schools in Wales and England to deliver key parts of the curriculum as well as to tackle childhood obesity.

Vicky and Dean have already used the loan to produce their toolkits bilingually to support Welsh learners and it will also enable them to develop new educational resources.

“Dean and I are passionate about children’s learning and education and first spotted a gap in the curriculum when we worked in health promotion in schools.  We set up Health Matters Education using our own funds and we’re pleased our ‘Busy Feet’ Explorers and ‘Brush your Teeth’ packs are so popular.  They’re a ‘must’ for any setting/school wanting to improve children’s health, fitness and well-being.

“Our customers have already done a lot of our marketing for us by recommending them to other providers and we’re keen to build on this success.  Finance Wales’ loan will enable to develop new toolkits and start selling to early years childcare providers and schools throughout the UK,” Vicky explained.

Health Matters Education also runs training and other events to support Continuous Professional Development and Finance Wales’ loan will enable them to expand this side of the business.

Gaynor Morris, Investment Executive at Finance Wales said: “Health Matters Education is an impressive company with lots of future potential.  Many early years childcare providers and schools throughout the UK are successfully using the company’s ‘Busy Feet’ Explorers and ‘Brush your Teeth’ resource packs to achieve great results.  The kids they’re working with are leading fitter and healthier lifestyles.

“Vicky and Dean are experts in their field who’ve built Health Matters Education on their passion for children’s health education using their own capital.  They have a good understanding of the early years curriculum as well as a wealth of new ideas and Finance Wales’ loan is providing them with the financial boost they need to take their business forward.”

As they’ve developed and grown Health Matters Education over the last 10 years, Vicky and Dean have built a strong relationship with local business printers, Welshpool Printing Group (WPG).  “We’ve worked with Welshpool Printing Group since we started our business and have developed an excellent working relationship with them.  They understand that high quality printed materials form a key part of our resource packs and work with us to help us implement our creative ideas and achieve our goals,”  Vicky added.

With evidence suggesting that a child’s future choices, attainment, wellbeing, and resilience can be profoundly affected by what happens in their early years, Health Matters Education is committed to providing national educational resources that promote more active and creative Early Years Foundation Phase in Wales and for the EYFS/KS1 curriculum in England.

The resources Health Matters Education has developed support many national initiatives including healthy pre-school and school schemes across England and Wales.  They help to develop strategies to encourage the adoption of healthy lifestyles and the ‘Brush your Teeth’ packs are approved by the National Oral Health Promotion Group (NOHPG) UK.

To date, all of the settings/schools implementing Health Matters Education’s latest, enhanced national 'Busy Feet' Explorers toolkits say they would recommend them to other settings or schools.

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