Helen Nurse, Founder of Capture 1 DVP Ltd and Wonder Adventures
Getting children to engage in creative, active play
Pulling up outside St James’ Palace in my little Renault Clio, I had to laugh… I’d accepted an assignment to film HRH Prince Charles on behalf of The Prince’s Trust, who had loaned me and my future husband Brett cash to get our videography business – Capture 1 DVP – off the ground.
Even a diddy Clio was a step up, as the first 12 months were spent lugging our gear round in suitcases on buses; however, we remained optimistic. Corporate and training videos had become a ‘thing’… Brett had the creativity and I had the sales and marketing skill-set to capitalise; by 2007, we had a staff of 10 employees.
I felt sure it would be ‘business as usual’ after giving birth to our first child George, but three days later I found myself lay in bed – trying to juggle a newborn and writing a tender. The recession hit and, suddenly, our big wage bill felt daunting. It was a tough time; my mum passed away and our second child, Daisy, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
Something had to change, so Brett and I gradually wound down our staff to a single freelancer. I wrote a self-published children’s book and – drawing on our background in drama – we launched an interactive children’s show combining storytelling, music, games and challenges.
Feedback from local performances was encouraging, but ‘The Elf Adventure Challenge’ show in 2016 proved to be an even bigger hit! As Wonder Adventures, we now specialise in delivering events and parties that get kids working together to become an honorary Dino Ranger, Elf or Astronaut.
After 20 years in business, we’ve also created our first source of passive income: a treasure hunt that parents can deliver themselves using video technology. It’ll give us time back as a family, which is needed because we now have three kids!
I had a preventative mastectomy and my ovaries removed after being told I was predisposed to cancer. I see it as a massive positive, as it gave Brett and I the impetus to have our son Charlie before the surgery – and my risk profile is much lower.
I’ve learnt resilience is key – keeping the faith and going on regardless.