Mum’s idea to give children tools for outdoor adventures

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A mother of three who was so dismayed by the lack of energetic play activities available for her lively young son has created her own outdoor activity kits.

Emma de Vere Hunt, from Knaresborough, has launched a series of ten kits under the banner of BattleBox, Great British Adventure Kit.

She said her aim was to educate and inspire children to develop new interests and a love of the outdoors.

“When my son, Edward, was about six he had outgrown the traditional wooden train sets, and available toys seemed limited to television spin-offs or computer games. I have nothing against consoles or TV but children do need to learn that real life can be a much more interesting place to be,” said Emma, 43.

“Edward is an energetic boy and I wanted to ecourage him to use his imagination, communicate directly with his friends and be stimulated and challenged. He loves being outdoors so I created a kit with clothes, equipment and tools - everything he needed to have an adventure.”

The first kit was a hit with Edward and his friends, and Emma - previously a stranger to commercial enterprise - found herself with a new business idea which she initially developed on a shoestring, storing the boxes and their contents in a small barn.

Word spread rapidly about the kits, and the whole family - including children Lucy, 17, Alice, 15, and Edward, now 11, and their friends - was forced to help out, moving from table sales at school fairs to exhibiting at major retail events in London.

The BattleBox concept eventually came to the attention of Jonathan Turner, serial entrepreneur and chief executive of the Bayford Group, based at Bowcliffe Hall, Bramham. The group has invested time and funding into BattleBox, and is helping to catapult the fledgling business onto the national stage.