Nursery World Awards 2021 - Community Support
Sunday, September 26, 2021
More2Nurseries, Greenwich, London
From its conception, More2Nurseries has always put its community first. The group owns two nurseries in Greenwich, London, one of which is a community interest company (CIC), investing 65 per cent of its profits back into its community.
It offers additional support to families through its More2parents programme and More2membership discount scheme, and has reached out to the wider community by engaging with local businesses, charities and CICs to offer services and support to families by passing on expertise, education, teaching and financial investment.
Profit has been invested in redesigning the local Forum Community Centre’s gardens, helping the mental and physical health and well-being of many members of the community. Staff and directors have also volunteered their time to improve the gardens.
Staff and parents raise funds every year for the Down Syndrome Association, Cancer Research, Sports Relief and Children in Need, and these events form part of the nurseries’ curriculums.
During the pandemic, More2 focused its support on the most vulnerable; those who were without essentials or suffering from mental health problems or abuse, as well as key workers and their families.
The nursery had worked with a social enterprise company for over four years to help supermarkets redistribute excess produce, but when lockdown was announced, collections increased from one to five a week. Although food was successfully distributed at the nursery, it became apparent there were many households in neighbouring communities unable to access essentials. In response, More2 joined forces with Clockhouse Community Centre and its food outreach programme to provide more than 150 meals per week.
Thanks to a long-standing partnership with charity MumsAid, More2 helps pregnant women and new mothers access specialist counselling by providing a counselling room and childcare. A new monthly stay and play group will help young mothers meet new friends and get advice and support from More2’s experienced staff team.
More2 also sponsors the baby group at The Bridge, a social enterprise which supports families with ‘lockdown babies’. While it was forced to close during the second lockdown, More2’s investment enabled the group to reopen in May and helped fund toys, refreshments and cleaning costs.
The group remained open throughout the pandemic, offering places to children of key workers from their own nursery as well as four others in the area.
Rosebuds Pre-School, Brixton, London
When Rosebuds became aware of the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on its vulnerable local community, the pre-school developed an award-winning project which distributed food, play resources and essentials to families in need.
Over a year on, the pre-school has more than 1,000 members on its database, and has adapted its space to become a distribution hub for emergency supplies. A regular supply of fresh, healthy food and baby and child essentials is readily available.
Its Summer of Play project provides meals and play opportunities for families during the summer holidays, while the Max Roach Garden Club enables this engagement to continue throughout the year with regular stay and play sessions.
The Don’t Forget the Baby project works with mothers and their babies to create a network of new mums, while the Dads’ Time initiative runs a monthly stay and play session for fathers and babies.
The pre-school manager is a representative on the Lambeth Vaccination External Advisory group, supporting engagement between the council and the community in an area of low vaccine take-up.
Bright Horizons Timperley
Traquinas Childcare, Thetford
Open to early years settings and services who have involved staff, parents and children in projects to support charities or the local/wider community.