M.A.D = Making A Difference
Our CEO of Global Transformation, Ian Green had heard for sometime of an innovative social business in South Wales and recently had the opportunity to visit the project for himself and meet the founders, Peter and Adele Jones.
In 2012 Peter and Adele of the Eden Centre, Abertillery, established an award winning soft-play centre, coffee shop and party venue, a family business with Pete’s father, Trevor.
Then in 2014 they founded charity Eden Education Centre (https://edeneducationcentre.org/), delivering LEGO Education workshops to schools, training and a conference venue.
In the summer of 2018 a second Eden Centre (https://theedencentre.com/) soft play centre was opened in Caerphilly.
In June 2019, Elevate Church, a faith based community, was established to provide spiritual input into the local area utilising the space in the Education Centre, and the play facilities/coffee shop.
In early 2020, Eden Junior was opened, a smaller soft play centre nearby in Blackwood. During the Easter period they were contacted by social services to see if they could provide Easter eggs for children in care in the community. They called upon local businesses to help to provide around 800 eggs.
They are in the process of registering a private day care nursery at the centre in Abertillery. This couple are filled with brilliant ideas to add value to their community and we are excited to follow their journey.
As people have observed Peter and Adele doing such simple, but extraordinary things, they have been referred to as mad. They say: “You will not be the first to say that we’re mad! And some days, especially on a rainy day of school holidays when customers are queuing out of the door, we would agree with you. But we would rather look at it like this… M.A.D. = Making A Difference”
Throughout the whole journey, the predominant theme for them has been, and will always be ‘making a difference’. Pete, as a managing director (CEO), charity founder, Church leader, husband and father of 3 kids and a dog-owner is a person who prays big prayers, dreams big dreams and then makes big plans, these inevitably mean making big steps to achieve those dreams; he’s not one to sit still. But he is also the sort of person to be the first to muck in and get a job done and the first person to sit down and chat to someone in need and try to help. He has seen doors open to enable him to be an influence in areas such as education, local council and in a church setting. However, it’s making a difference to one person that drives him, it certainly isn’t money!
Peter and Adele are the first to say that running their own business is tough, “you have to know it is right for you, to keep you going through the tough times (and we’ve had plenty of those) as well as the good. You also have to have the right people around you. At the moment, every centre is closed. We are currently at the mercy of the Government grants and furlough scheme, it is unsettling, but we know that we have come this far and our centres are possibly going to be used by local council to help in the COVID-19 fight, whatever we can do, we will. In the meantime, we are using this time to reset the schedule, the work/life balance can tip occasionally, so we’re currently resting in anticipation for what is in store for us next… we don’t know what that will look like, but we know it will involve making a difference somehow…”
This couple are filled with brilliant ideas to add value to their community.