Grantham party business shortlisted for award

Claire Hainstock with TV's Sue Perkins
Claire Hainstock with TV's Sue Perkins
Have your say

A local businesswoman is celebrating after being shortlisted as a finalist in The Small Awards, the first of a new awards body aimed at recognising the achievements of small and micro-businesses across the UK.

Claire Hainstock runs ‘Acting the Party’, which creates role-playing audio CDs for children’s parties, and was nominated as one of five finalists under ‘The Beat Goes On’ category at a prestigious ceremony in London last Thursday, hosted by Sue Perkins from Bake Off fame.

Claire said: “I was so excited and nervous, particularly as my category was being judged by Sir Vincent Cable, Siobhan Kennedy, the business editor at Channel 4 News and the head of marketing for PRS for music.”

Despite not coming first in her category, Claire, who attended the ceremony with her husband Chris, was thrilled to get so far, adding: “It was fantastic just to be shortlisted with other great small businesses from across the UK. We had one of the judges sat with us on our table who said he really loved the concept of Acting the Party – and was interested as he had a child of the right age to play it.”

It was the first black tie event that Claire had attended with her husband.

She added: “Sue Perkins was great and was up to the usual snappy quips. She made everyone feel welcome and the whole evening was very upbeat and had a good humoured atmosphere.”

Claire set up Acting the Party after being shocked at the high cost of party entertainment for her children.

She said: “I work from home where I write, design and edit the recorded audio stories. The audio parties are easy to use and children love them as they act out characters to the narration. Because all children adore party games we have games interwoven in the story so everyone can join in. The music is used either for atmosphere in the story, or for the party games, all set out ready for parents to press play.”

If you’re interested in booking a party or would like some more information, visit