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National mumandworking awards 2011

The finalists for the prestigious mumandworking 2011 awards have now been announced – and  Frances Donkin, who owns the Rhythm Time music franchise in Cheshire is amongst them!

The 2011 mumandworking awards are organised by
and reward, recognise and celebrate the companies and individuals that make flexible working possible. Their aim is to prove that family-friendly employment not only supports family life but gives real benefits to the companies involved.

Sarah Beeny, TV presenter, author, entrepreneur and Mum attended the awards in 2010 and said of this year's event, "as a mum of four boys, aged 6,5,2 and 1 - I completely understand the importance of flexible working and the value of spending time with your family. It's great that the mumandworking awards celebrate the people who are making this possible for parents across the UK and it’s great to see so many successful mums out there taking part ".

The awards will be hosted this year by the fabulous inspirational coach Alexandra Watson as seen on the X-Factor, across the national press and founder of the 'Happiness System at Work'.  There are 7 exciting different award categories which embrace the full spectrum, celebrating working parents, flexible employers, mumpreneurs/parents in business alongside 2 new awards for the best start up of the year and the best growing business.

Over 400 nominations in total were made this year and  Frances Donkin is a finalist in the ‘Franchisee of the Year’ category.

Frances was the first person to buy a Rhythm Time music franchise back in 2000 and has now built a highly successful business providing music classes to approximately 1600 children across Cheshire.

Within each Rhythm Time music franchise, youngsters enjoy a unique set of music courses that have been specifically written by Founder and Director Kathy Doolan (previously Head of Music at a Scottish school) and created to help a child’s confidence, creativity and co-ordination.  The classes are aimed at different age groups, specifically: music classes for babies (from birth to 14 months), music classes for toddlers (15 months to 3 years), and music classes for pre-schoolers(3 – 5 years).  A child can show key signs of development at each stage, so it is highly beneficial to progress throughout all 3 age groups.

The music franchise group now has approximately 9500 children attending Rhythm Time sessions across 300 venues.  Franchisee growth is also at an all-time high, with 5 new franchisees buying a Rhythm Time music franchise in 2011 so far. This brings the current franchisee total to 36 across the UK.

Like many other Rhythm Time franchisee owners, Frances Donkin was attracted to Rhythm Time due to her love of music, and wanting a career that fitted around her family commitments.  Her daughter attended Rhythm Time classes at a young age and years later, she has now achieved a piano dipABRSM and is starting her music degree at university.

Frances is absolutely delighted to have been nominated for these awards. “My team and I have such a great story to tell and we all love what we do so much.  It’s especially important to be able to have a career that fits around your family commitments,” she adds.

On October 10, all finalists for these awards will be invited to the Thistle Hotel, Brighton for the awards ceremony which will take place as part of The Business Mums Summit with keynote speakers Kate Garraway and Laura Tenison MBE.

The esteemed judging panel, many of whom are award winners themselves, are also all business experts, real achievers in their field and fully support and exemplify the flexible, family-friendly working model. The winners will walk away with a selection of indulgent prizes worth nearly £3000 in total.

To see a full list of the awards, finalists, prize details and full information just visit

For more information on a Rhythm Time music franchise throughout the UK, contact Kathy Doolan on 0121 711 4224 or visit

Posted: 20th Sep 2011

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