Recognising and rewarding the most loved children's activities in the UK since 2006!

The What's On 4 Kids National Children's Activities Awards are the only awards which include both 'voted for' and 'judged' award categories.  We know that judged categories are really valued by our nominees so we are delighted to have 4 judged categories for 2024.

The Steve Franks 'Shining Star' Award for Excellence and Innovation

Cate Blackmore, WestWay School of Performing Arts
Imogen Coleman, WOW World Group
Jessie Lilley, babyballet
Leanne Barlow, The Curiosity Mill
Mairi Curle, Boogie Beat Music and Movement
Rachel Peebles, Estrellas Brilliantes
Reece Elbourn, Let's Leap Sports Academy
Srini Arumugam, Soham Yoga
Steve Goodwin, Brick Bus/Super Hero Parties
Tamsin Brewis, Water Babies

Remarkable Achievement

Amanda Frolich, Amanda's Action Club
Cate Blackmore, WestWay School of Performing Arts
Claire Munday, Tappy Toes
Emma Bentley, Stagecoach Theatre Arts Chichester
Fatema Meghjee, Tots Play Birmingham South Central
Helen Syrtadiotis, The Artz Kidz
Kerrie Goude & Maddy Griffiths, TOTFest Festival Ltd
Laura Wills, Sue Wood and Jan Earney, Yo-Chi
Leanne Jones, Drama Tots
Liz Mullen, Little Fizz
Reece Elbourn, Let's Leap Sports Academy
Riz Ahmed, Chess Mate Hub Ltd

Most Loved New Activity

Baby Brews
Beyond the Bump
Chess Mate Hub Ltd
Eleanor Grace Dance
Jack in the Box Musical Memories
Let's Rock The Spectrum
Little Strikers World
Mrs T's Woodland Wonders
Saddleworth Language School
SensorStory Baby & Toddler Classes

Diversity & Inclusion Champion

Little City UK
Little Learners
Medieval Madness
The Boury Academy CIC
WestWay School of Performing Arts

A massive thank you to our Judges

This year, we're excited to welcome back three esteemed judges from previous years and introduce a very special new addition to our panel. Our judges are delighted to be part of the awards and understand the immense value this holds for every nominee. However, they also recognise the challenging task ahead as they carefully evaluate each submission. 

Alison Franks

Proud Ambassador for the Children’s Alliance

Alison is Director of Sales for Hilton Hotels and has worked in hospitality for the majority of her career.

In her words,  she is also 'far more importantly, beyond proud to be the wife of the truly wonderful, late Steve Franks'.  Steve lost his life to COVID19 in April 2020.  Steve was CEO of Water Babies and a total force of nature, who sat on many boards, and who had endless drive and commitment to give children a better start and a brighter future. Steve was also the man initially behind the Children's Alliance organisation.

Alison is therefore a proud Brand Ambassador for the Children’s Alliance organisation, with the aim to give children a voice at last, right at the heart of Government. Therefore for these two reasons alone, Alison is immensely honoured and extremely grateful to be a part of the prestigious What’s On 4 Kids National Children’s Activities Awards judging panel.

Sam Willoughby

Founder and Managing Director, What’s On 4 Kids

Multi-award-winning innovator and entrepreneur trail-blazing in the children’s activities sector since 2006. Sam has devoted nearly 2 decades of her working life to enhancing the children’s activities sector with collaborations, innovations, and national promotion. Sam’s credits include the What’s On 4 Kids National Children’s Activities Awards, Children’s Activities Association and National Children’s Activities Week. 

The What’s On 4 Kids National Children’s Activities Awards is particularly important to Sam.  Way back in 2006 Sam realised there were no national awards to recognise the many amazing coaches, teachers and leaders in the children’s activities sector.  These awards have grown and developed to recognise the many different “ages and stages” of small businesses in the children's activities sector across the UK alongside the talents of the people working in this vital but undervalued sector. 

The awards conclude each year with a glamourous evening event and ceremony held at some very special venues in the UK – a wonderful night of celebration, tears and laughter as all good awards ceremonies should be!  Sam is incredibly proud that hundreds of small businesses and people have received a What’s On 4 Kids National Children’s Activities Award – and there will be many more winners this year too!

Rachel Haslam

The founder of Team Academy

Rachel has been in business for over 12 years with a amazing team of awesome trainers! She has people development at the heart of everything she does and has over 20 years of training experience, personally reaching over 100,000 people to date.

She is a powerful, engaging, trainer and entertaining speaker on change management, sales, team dynamics, mindset and leadership. Rachel’s on-stage energy lights up the room and as such audience members find her hugely relatable and likeable.  Team Academy has clients include, Aldi, Hilton hotels, Virgin Media, NHS, Kaspersky, premier league.

Team Academy have won a number of awards for delivering high impact programmes that deliver outstanding results. Holding the award for training and coaching company of the year, 3 times in a row.

Mike Dodd

Chair of the Children's Activities Association

Mike started work at 16 and helped build 2 of the largest companies supplying new technologies to the insurance sector, becoming the UK CEO of a PLC. Across the last 15 years he has been involved in a number of new start businesses as a NED and investor, together with involvement in a number of charity and community organisations.

He is the founding and current Chair of the Children's Activities Association and is relentless in his support of the children's activities sector which does so much to benefit the early years/children of the UK. The CAA is also sponsor of the Steve Franks Shining Star award. 

Mike has 3 grown up children who he's shared many adventures with and has cycled mainly independently, through over 60 countries. He is delighted to have been invited as a judge and looks forward to the live awards event. 

Maiko Schaffrah

Founder & CEO, Impact Hustlers

Maiko Schaffrath is the Founder of Impact Hustlers, a community of entrepreneurs solving the world's biggest social & environmental problems. He hosts a weekly podcast which has featured founders such as Yancey Strickler (Kickstarter) and impact investors such as Sir Ronald Cohen.

Outside of his work at Impact Hustlers Maiko teaches customer development and product development at University College London and advises early-stage impact startups on product validation.

2024 Sponsors, Partners and Supporters Showcase

Thank you to all these organisations that make the What's On 4 Kids National Children's Activities Awards possible.

Message from Morton Michel to everyone involved in the
What's On 4 Kids National Children's Activities Awards 2024

"We are thrilled to once again be the headline sponsor for the What’s On 4 Kids Awards, this is a brilliant opportunity to share in the celebrations and individual and collective achievements of a wonderful business community. Getting the chance to recognise the energy, passion and pride that gets poured into the work the sector does every day is a brilliant way to reflect on another year being a part of the Children’s Activities community and something we are immensely proud to be able to support!"

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