MagiKats, started by Kathryn Mellett from Sunderland was launched in November 2016 as a franchise business offering tutoring support to children from age 4 up to GCSE Level in both Maths and English.

Kathryn comments:

“When I first started MagiKats, I expected my work to be focused on supporting older children undertaking GCSE examinations and in need of some additional support to build confidence. However, I realised quite early on that parents are looking to support children across every key stage at school and quickly expanded our service to offer tutoring for pupils aged from four up to 18 years old.

“Accessing tutors was once seen as something for wealthier parents but given my education and teaching experience, I wanted to open up this service in a way that could benefit children from a range of backgrounds who needed that little bit of extra help outside of their normal classroom.

“MagiKats fuses together quality tutor-led instruction with small group learning to make the workshops less intimidating for the pupils and more accessible to all parents from a financial perspective.”

MagiKats Sunderland has grown from a small church hall in Sunderland to having permanent premises at Sunderland BIC, employing six part-time tutors who deliver workshops in venues across the south of the city.

Joining forces with Joseph Hodson, the MagiKats franchise owner in Gateshead, the pair have been able to work together to implement plans to share business premises and marketing resource to develop MagiKats North East and help broaden the appeal of the service. Across the region MagiKats has already worked with over 100 young people to help them build their skills and confidence in English and maths.

Kathryn continues:

“I originally worked with TEDCO Business Support to access a Virgin StartUp loan with help from business advisor, Mark Johnston. Initially, I wanted the loan to help me to purchase the franchise and set up MagiKats Tuition in Sunderland but the business support offered by Mark has proven to be incredibly useful throughout the last two years across so many different areas of the business.”

Virgin Startup is the not-for-profit organisation set up in 2013 to offer low-cost business loans to new businesses and is exclusively delivered in the North East by TEDCO Business Support.

Kathryn continues:

“Mark was my guide throughout the application process as I prepared the final business plan for submission to Virgin StartUp. With the £5,000 loan in place, I was able to push forward with my plans whilst retaining the support of Mark. He has been a stable and supportive indvidual to turn to whenever I’ve had questions over the last two years and his unobtrusive manner has allowed me to focus completely on how I want to move forward with the business.”

Kathryn and Joseph are now looking ahead to a successful future expanding MagiKats Tuition to service the growing demand for tutor-led education support throughout Sunderland and across the North East.

Mark Johnston, TEDCO business advisor comments:

“I have now worked with Kathryn for two years following her initial approach to look into the opportunities offered by Virgin StartUp and it has been a pleasure to watch how her business has flourished during this time. She is focused, driven and genuinely passionate about the service she offers and I am confident that MagiKats will continue to be a success.”