We have a fabulous team of volunteer writers, and contributors here at VFTS. The VFTS team are made up of mummies, bloggers, students, journalists and experts who are here to help you in every way we can.
Editor in Chief – Kimberly Bond
Kimberly is 24 and, although not a mummy herself, she has grown up surrounded by children (her mum was a childminder for many years) and is now at the age where her friends are popping babies out like hens laying eggs! She has broken her own family tradition of having a baby by the age of 20 by going to University instead, where she graduated with First Class honours in Journalism at Staffordshire University.
She first spotted the gap in the market for a publication aimed at young parents in 2009 when her friend Chantelle was pregnant at 17 (see the about us page for more on her story). This website has been in the making ever since, and she launched VFTS in February 2013 as part of her web-based Journalism module.
After graduating Kimberly enrolled on the SpeedPlus programme at Staffordshire University’s business school, where she was supported by business mentor Suzanne Skeete.
Since moving to Manchester, she has been lucky enough to receive some great start-up business support from Sarah Ryan at Blue Orchid and is now working with Salford CVS to grow VFTS as an organisation in her second year of business.
Kimberly is learning by the day what it means to be a businesswoman – it’s harder than it looks! She also spends her time volunteering as a generalist adviser at her local Citizens Advice Bureau, watching movies with her other half Adam (as well as a slight obsession with All4) and playing with her cat Odi. If she’s not doing that she can usually be found somewhere in one of the networking hours on Twitter or with her head buried in a book!
Board of Directors/Senior Managers
Our Directors are the foundations of the company – they help make strategic decisions about fundraising, help apply for grants and run the retail side of the business. Click on their pictures or here to read more about the Directors.
Could you join the VFTS Directors or management team? We need passionate, skilled people who could bring something unique to the team in either an executive or non-executive role.
Hayley Auffret – Strategic Operations Director
Hayley is 23 and currently studying towards a BA Hons in Childhood and Youth studies and works full time as a nursery assistant. She will be researching and writing our Top 5 articles and product reviews. She will also be helping Kim to brainstorm new ideas for the magazine, fundraising and future events to fulfil our aims of helping young parents across the country. Hayley will also be offering her expertise to any young parents who have questions about child development or language.
Sophie Abbott – Strategic Fundraising Director
Sophie is 22 and is currently doing her PGCE at University of East Anglia and her teacher training in Norwich. Sophie helps to bring new fundraising ideas to VFTS, and has started to create a retail side to the business. She will also be able to offer help to any young parents who have questions about child development in the Early Years.
Adam Preston- Business Development Director
Adam is 25 and works full time as an Insurance adviser at Direct Line, whilst also studying Business and Leadership management at the Open University. As Kim’s partner, he is providing constant moral support as well as helping her make decisions and coming up with new business development ideas. Although Adam is a salesman, his passion lies in marketing and is the creative ideas man behind the marketing emails and campaigns the team send out to potential advertisers.
Claire is a mum to Owen 14, Monica 8, Peter 6, Martha 4 and Jason 2 and a second year social policy student at the University of Salford. She is also involved in various volunteering roles in the local community and is passionate about children and family welfare. Her blog is www.lifeasthecareysknowit.com
Gemma Walsh – Features Editor and Director
Gemma is a 25 year old mum to her very mischievous and energetic son Jay, whom she delivered herself by dropping him in the toilet.
She first started writing when she was 6 years old so combining motherhood and words was the perfect combination when she first joined us in 2012 as a volunteer writer.
Since then she has started her journalism degree at Staffordshire University and now also edits other contributors work by running the Features and Blogs Team. Gemma then joined the board of directors in April 2015. She says: “Maybe one day we’ll win an OBE for services to pregnant ladies!” She always blogs at www.weareteamwalsh.com
Our Awesome Contributors
We couldn’t do any of this without them and their wonderful skills.
Emily Moore – Cartoon and Comic Art Editor
Emily is 20 and currently a Cartoon and Comic Art student at Staffordshire University, but is originally from Warrington. She loves to doodle characters and runs her own online comic ‘Demon Tail’ – http://demontail.webcomic.ws
Emily is the creative genius behind ‘The Motherhood Club’ – the VFTS exclusive comic strip. We’ll be exploring new characters throughout 2015!
Mary-Kate Williamson – Reviewer
Mary-Kate is a 25 year old mum to Oliver who is 5 years old, and her new little baby girl Isabelle. She writes for her own blog ‘Mummy Memories’ which she started when she was pregnant with Isabelle. Mary-Kate is our reviewer of products from maternity to toddler items, and also likes to write about her experiences as a young mum. Other than blogging she enjoys spending time with her family, cups of tea and girly shopping! She can also be found on Twitter – @mummymemories
Natalie Roberts – Writer and Oral Health expert
Natalie is a 29 year old mum to Evan 8 and Abbie who is 5. She is a freelance writer and qualified Dental Nurse. She is passionate about oral health in children and also loves anything natural and eco-friendly. In her spare time she works on two books she is writing and also enjoys spending time with her husband John and their little ones. You can visit her website at www.natalieroberts.net.
Nicola is a children’s arts and crafts writer and mummy to Liam 7, Freddie 5 and Bella 2. She grew up in the UK but now lives by the sea in Ireland. Her kids adore making things and getting messy and she loves to come up with new ideas for them all to do together at home. She blogs about their crafty adventures athttp://www.multicraftingmummy.com
Charlotte Dodd – Student Midwife
Charlotte is a 23 year old student midwife in her second year at University. Although not a mother herself yet she comes into contact with mums and families of all ages as part of her course. As a student midwife she is taught all the latest research and guidelines on pregnancy and birth and hopes to share this information to young families. She will be writing about labour, birth and a diary about her life as a student midwife.
Francesca Pullen – Teacher and Blogger
Fran is a full-time qualified History teacher who has a further passion to reach out to families in different ways. Coming from a large family herself she knows what it is like to struggle for money and have young ones in your family. She is fanatical about food and loves to experiment in the kitchen and that has translated into a new blog about food tips and the latest recipes that are suitable for the whole family.
Keep up to date with her latest blog at https://beafoodietoo.wordpress.com/
Rachel Dove – SEN teacher and Blogger
Rachel Dove is a teacher of adults specialising in English, SEN and helping in schools, an author, writer, business owner and lover of all things crafty and creative. She is an advocate of SEN and family life, and lives with her husband Peter, Max the dog, Tilly the cat, and their two sons, one of which is on the autistic spectrum and undergoing assessment.
Anna Buckley – Student and Admin Volunteer
Anna is 18 and mum to daughter Evie (our cover star Winter 2014) . Anna goes to college 2days a week studying beauty therapy. She lives in Stoke-on-Trent with her partner Chris, daughter and puppy max. Anna is our admin volunteer – from February 2015 she will be in charge of helping the Editors with marketing emails, and providing the volunteers with a newsletter to keep them all updated.
Adreen Hart-Rule – Broadcast Journalist and all-round creative
Adreen is 23 and Kimberly’s partner in crime…well the other half of her journalistic team anyway (and her old housemate!). Adreen will be very happy to admit that it was she that helped to think of the name ‘Visit from the Stork’ for the website. Although she spent the best part of 2013 and 14 as an au-pair in Spain, Adreen has provided many hours of wisdom and ‘sensible’ ideas for the organisation and VFTS. Adreen now works full time and lives in Stafford with her partner Toby. She provides technical assistance, creative ideas and still gets behind the camera for us from time to time!
Tom Hutton – Broadcast Journalist
Alice Young – Blogger
Rosey Wren – founder of PNDandme
Fancy joining the VFTS team as a volunteer ? With great training opportunities and rewards in return for your time and passion, you’ll have a great time! We’ve got lots of roles available – Download our Volunteer application form and send it to email@example.com or email to request a copy of our Volunteer handbook for more information.
Michelle Childs – Founder of BizMums and business support expert
Michelle Childs is the founder of BizMums, a social enterprise set up to offer much needed support to self employed mums. BizMums particularly appeals to self-employed mums with pre-school children. Michelle is the mum of a 4 year old and a 7 month old and while on maternity leave set up 2 successful businesses. During the process of setting up these businesses Michelle became aware of the challenges that mums were facing juggling a business and a baby. BizMums is a community of mums who all ‘get’ each other and support each others goals and ambitions, something that is hard to find as a mum in business. You can find out more about the events BizMums runs and the support available by visiting www.BizMums.biz or contacting Michelle via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Kirsten Stewart – Breastfeeding and Lactation Consultant
Kirsten is a qualified general Nurse and professional Breastfeeding and Lactation Consultant. She has 23 years experience working on the Special Baby Unit in Staffordshire, helping mums to bond with their babies and overcome breastfeeding difficulties and stress. She also offers one-to-one sessions for mums to provide help and support to mums struggling to breastfeed. Kirsten will be writing for VFTS as well as answering any questions about breastfeeding young mums may have. Find out more about Kirsten on her website.