Coventry Rocks owner Jess McLish explains how she's supporting local businesses during lockdown

While lockdown has presented huge challenges for everyone, in many ways, it’s also helped to bring us together, encouraging us to reach out and support each other’s work.

Recently set up as part of the My Town Rocks franchise, Coventry Rocks is a brilliant new platform full of handy tips and guides for families, focusing on what’s happening in the city. Since lockdown started, they’ve been big supporters of our online programme, Between Stages, so we wanted to share the love and shine a spotlight on what they’ve been up to in return.

For this week’s Saturday Shout Out, we spoke to Coventry Rocks owner Jess McLish to find out more.

Coventry Rocks is the ultimate what’s on guide for families in the Coventry area,” explains Jess. “The website (usually) has a large selection of baby and toddler groups, local attractions, family-friendly events, day trips, and handy guides. It is super easy to use, with a ‘today’ and ‘tomorrow’ button, so families can find a wide range of things to do locally, at the touch of a button.”

Jess’s motivation to start up a family-focused guide to Coventry was born out of her own experiences as a mother.

“When I became a mum, I found it difficult to find baby groups and places to go with my daughter. There are so many brilliant baby groups locally, but I would spend hours trawling the internet trying to find something suitable.

“What I needed was a ‘one stop shop’ for everything in the area. It was the same for activities over the weekends, we would tend to visit the same places over and over again, because we didn’t know where else to go!

“I stumbled across the My Town Rocks franchise in 2019 when I had just found out I was pregnant with my second daughter. The site was already established in Cheltenham, Cirencester, and other places, and hugely popular with local parents. I fell in love with the functionality of the website, it is so easy to use, and as a mum myself I could imagine using it for inspiration of places to take my family. So I bit the bullet and started Coventry Rocks!”

Since launching in December 2019 – a great time to start, with a huge range of Christmas events to cover – Jess has received some fantastic feedback from local families, and has quickly built up an appreciative network of local businesses and organisations in the city.

“I have been delighted with the response so far! Our Facebook and Instagram pages receive new followers every single day, as the word spreads amongst local parents, and the website has received some brilliant feedback – my favourite example is below. It’s so exciting to know the website has helped a new mum to find her way and meet new friends.”