The Puppet Tree is run as a social enterprise. This means we run as a not-for-profit organisation, because all profits go back into what we do – projects, engagement activities, play and wellbeing initiatives and other community projects that bring people together. We have a passion for encouraging a life-long inspiration for creative play and understanding the world around us through the magic of puppetry.
The Puppet Tree’s roots were planted sixteen years ago and has now blossomed as a not-for-profit organisation, running as a Community Interest Company from the beginning of 2021.
The Puppet Tree began as a gift shop called Pedlar’s Barrow in 2004 and over the years it grew into a toy shop which in time specialised in puppets and puppetry. All purchases from our shop help fund our activity, as a not-for-profit Community Interest Company.
The Puppet Theatre and workshop was built in 2007 and makers of all ages have been able to allow their imagination and creativity to flourish in its calm, peaceful environment. For over a decade children have created their own puppet shows from a choice of hundreds of puppets to audiences of family and friends.
Parents, teachers, carers, related agencies and the children themselves have been part of the transformation and growth of the branches of The Puppet Tree by encouraging its development into a not for profits business. When a puppet enters the stage people connect with its ‘story’ directly. Puppets can break down barriers, cross cultural differences, and open people to of all ages to new ideas and possibilities. You can talk about and teach almost any subject with a puppet.
Puppetry is a creative and expansive art form that engages and entertains, bringing a sense of wonder to a story or subject and the unique atmosphere of The Puppet School and the workshop space at the Puppet Tree allows children of all ages – and adults (especially those who are young at heart) to immerse themselves in activities which soothes the soul.
Karen founded The Puppet Tree back in 2004, feeding on her passion for puppetry and play. Before 2021, Karen had run the shop and workshops almost single-handedly for a number of years with the support of enthusiastic volunteers.
Karen is also a registered nurse, loves Doctor Who, have always keeps wellbeing initiatives in mind when designing and delivering projects.
The Puppet Tree also relies upon the goodwill of the local community and the volunteers who help out with day-to-day matters, in the shop, with workshops and special projects. If you would like to volunteer and get involved, or perhaps sponsor a project with a grant or in-kind, please get in touch with us using our Contact page.