'A crazy idea' - Soft play area in double-decker bus proving a hit
- Credit: Lee Marshall
With ball pits, a slide and sensory lights, a new Norfolk business is offering a “unique experience” bringing soft play to homes in a double-decker bus.
East Anglian Play Bus Co. was set up by friends and fellow paramedics, Lee Marshall and Adam Wright, from Great Yarmouth, in July this year.
Mr Marshall said: “I used to be a social worker before I was a paramedic so I have a lot of experience working with children. About six years ago, I spotted a soft play bus in London and I thought it was great.
“Then, when I was on shift with Adam one day, we came up with this crazy idea.”
After searching high and low for the perfect bus, which came “straight off the front line”, the pair designed a soft play course and sent it off to Liverpool to be converted.
The play area spans across three different levels and can fit up to 20 children inside at one time.
“It has been 18 months in the making,” Mr Marshall said. “If it hadn’t been for Covid we could have rolled it out earlier.
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“But we needed to make sure it was safe and the children using the bus would be safe.
“It is definitely an achievement. In these first six months we have been testing the water and seeing how things go but now business is definitely starting to pick up.
“We are very proud of the bus; it’s a work of art and the kids love her as well.”
Since its launch this summer, bookings have been rolling in for the mobile play bus at events, parties and private functions.
Mr Marshall, a lecturer at the University of Suffolk in paramedic science, added: “Everybody has said it’s a unique experience all the children have loved it.
“The beauty of it is that it can be accessed by children of all abilities - including those with autism - and when you hire it, it’s just for you.”
The business partners are predicting a busy year ahead and in the future hope to create a fleet of play buses around the region.
For more information you can visit East Anglian Play Bus' Facebook page here, https://www.facebook.com/EAPBCO/.