Mums in the ‘hood: Shelley Henderson and Erin Thomas-Wong
We love our West London Mums! Each month we feature a local mum from an area in west London who will share her favourite places in her community. This time we’ve got a twofer: we spoke to Shelley Henderson and Erin Thomas-Wong—friends, mums and cofounders of Ealing Mums in Business, which offers services ranging from social media and management training workshops to networking forums; they even run regular night markets. As if that weren’t enough, they also hold baby and toddler classes with Pitter Patter—The Hub for Bubs. Find out what they love about their ’hood:
Tell us a little about yourself.
Shelley: I’m a mum to two boys, five and three, as well as co-founder of Ealing Mums in Business and director of Pitter Patter – The Hub for Bubs with my friend Erin Thomas-Wong. Life is full on and I’m learning to ignore the mess and paint-chipped skirting boards around my house.
Erin: Before becoming a mum of two I enjoyed a fast-paced career in TV production. As soon as I had my first son in 2008 I realized something had to change, so I decided to buy a franchise of Smallprint Fingerprint Jewellery and become my own boss. Very quickly I discovered a whole new world, and a whole new side of myself. I went on to create my own business, Pitter Patter – The Hub for Bubs, and I also co-founded Ealing Mums in Business, both of which I run with Shelley Henderson.
Which area do you live in, and what do you love about it?
Shelley: I live in the heart of Northfields, in Ealing, and love the strong sense of community and the amazing choices of parks, cafes and restaurants. We are lucky enough to be one of the many amazing villages that make up London.
Erin: I live in West Ealing/Northfields. It’s a fantastic neighborhood and since having children here I have become part of the close-knit community. I find it to be a friendly place, which I know some people don’t expect in London.
Where’s your favourite neighbourhood place to hang out as a family?
Shelley: It’s difficult to get the boys to specify their favourite park; probably Lammas Park closely followed by Boston Manor Park.
Erin: Lammas Park is a great place for the family, with two playgrounds, long winding paths which are perfect for scooting, and lots of other young kids around to create a nice atmosphere.
Where’s your favourite place to escape in your area for a little ‘me’ time?
Shelley: Mmmm, ‘me’ time—that’s an interesting concept. Anywhere with friends.
Erin: Virgin Active in Ealing is my quiet place—I go there to exercise, but most importantly it’s an escape from the house and I just love taking my laptop and working in the cafe. I have my most productive time there, without the distractions of the washing machine or cold callers!
What local activities do you and your family take part in?
Shelley: We attend most of the family events going on around Ealing and we are lucky that there are so many. The boys like swimming in the local leisure centre as well as Judo and Gym Kids at the YMCA. With the boys now at school most of the time, attending the wonderful Pitter Patter classes has come to an end. I’m soon to take up Belly Dancing as a regular exercise class.
Erin: My other child is 22 months old and we have loved trying out all the many Pitter Patter classes and playgroups in the area. There is so much on offer for young children, you could never get bored!
Is there a little hidden gem in your area you’d be willing to share?
Shelley: The Duke of Kent is great for summer and winter, with a fab beer garden and cosy fires inside but sshhh, don’t tell everyone. The Walpole restaurant is a recent find and one I will be returning to regularly for evenings out.
Erin: It’s not so much hidden but I love the coffee shop culture of Northfields Avenue. There are so many lovely cafes to choose from and some great independent shops too.
Want to be one of our featured mums? Get in touch at contact(at)westlondonmum.co.uk