Two mums, two children and an Officreche

Liz Moody-Stuart, in a previous corporate life was trying to express in the corporate quarters of Newcastle football ground while on a project. It was hopeless and not very child-friendly which led her to think there must be another way. Officreche is the other way, it’s her concept of a family friendly working facility. went there for a morning trial. After touring the two nursery rooms, the offices and meeting rooms, we shut ourselves in the offices upstairs to write and edit our blogs. The concept of Officreche is one where flexibility is truly the key. With 3 different options it can work around parents who have fixed or flexible working needs. You can fix days for your child to attend the nursery at £5 (without use of the office space) and this increases where flexibility is needed. A nursery and office space can cost £10 per hour at their pay as you go rate or with a 12 month contract this decrease to £8.65 an hour or £300 a month for a guarantee of 8 hours per week but you can store these hours to use for up to 3 months if you don’t need to use them all. That is the true flexibility as you could use these all in one week if that was your requirement and also means that you don’t get charged for bank holidays, the christmas break and if you know your child is sick you can cancel or rearrange up to 24 hours before.

The building has been wonderfully and lovingly renovated by Liz and her team. Each floor has coffee and lavatory facilities. All the rooms have an incredible amount of light and were very toasty on a chilly December morning. They have thought of so many details. Each of the landings have window seats to perch on and make quiet calls. There’s artworks on the walls, carefully chosen by Liz as she’s a bit of an art buff. In the baby room, there are two breastfeeding chairs which Claire needed to feed in and was totally relaxed. There are telephone facilities so that parents can phone down to the nursery to check on their child but there is also soundproofing, in order while you are working not to hear your baby’s intermittent grumbles.

The space fits a variety of requirements but particularly those with flexible jobs, shift workers, university staff (as you are not committed to paying for non-term time but use it if you wanted to!) and freelancers. Once your child is settled in, you could also leave them to go off for meetings with clients but there are excellent meeting rooms available for hire starting at £10 per hour. For us, the key benefit is clearly the reduced logistics you would have if you signed up. Drop the baby downstairs, work upstairs in two bubbles but close enough if you need to be. No more running round half of the city dropping and picking kids up.

Talking to Liz about Officreche was delightful, as this is a real passion project for so many different reasons. She really believes in creating a different way for parents to work and organise their childcare. It is also a real family venture with input from all her siblings and her mother being one of the major shareholders. She has employed staff who are well qualified but also ready to embrace the concept of offices and nursery facilities on the same site. Talking to both Liz and the team at Officreche, you clearly get a view this is a passion project. They are keen to become a community hub for parents who need to work flexibly but need office space as well.

Officreche are offering a free 2 hour taster session to show you what they can do for you. You can book online or call on 01273 434244.

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