27 Sep 2015, Ruth Thomson
When the father of a child in the setting’s care was told he had terminal cancer in 2012 and a limited time remaining, the nursery provided immense support to the family, going over and above their duty of care.
The nursery team provided a listening ear and stability for daughter Tia, the only stability she knew during the months ahead of her father’s death last year.
Manager Claire Rice says at nursery, Tia used to talk about seeing her father at the Marie Curie hospice in Newcastle where he received care, and visiting a fountain within the hospice garden that did not work. Touched by her stories, staff at the setting decided to raise money for the hospice in recognition of the support and care they provided to the
family and also to repair the fountain.
The nursery held numerous fundraising events, involving parents, colleagues, children, visitors and the local community, including fancy dress days, sponsored walks, cake sales, fun days and a charity night. The charity night was hosted by a local golf club for free and many local businesses donated auction prizes.
Claire Rice says the events also provided a focus for the family, who were fully involved, during a very difficult time.
The nursery raised more than £3,900 for Marie Curie and in memory of Tia’s father.
With the money, the hospice was able to install a new fountain rather than fix the old one.
Tia’s mother Sheryl says she was completely blown away when her husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer, but having the support of the nursery helped her and her children through a devastating time.
‘I won’t be able to thank the girls [nursery staff] enough for what they did for us and making my husband’s last wish come true. Suffice to say, they all deserve a medal for their selfless support. Tia is going to miss them all very much,’ she says.
Staff at the setting have set themselves a new challenge this year, the 10th year since the nursery opened, to raise £10,000 for two charities – Tiny Lives Trust and the Children’s Heart Unit Fund. To accomplish this, they have organised fundraising events ranging from a sponsored haircut – 29 inches of hair will be donated to make wigs for a children’s cancer charity, to a zip wire challenge and silent auction. Alongside this, nursery staff continue to manage the day-to-day running of the setting and be involved with the local community by giving blood and manning lost children stands at fates.
Both charities say they are delighted to work in partnership with the nursery and have been hugely impressed with the dedication of the staff to raise money to help children in need.
London Early Years Foundation (LEYF)
Open to early years settings that have involved staff, parents and children in projects to support charities or the local/wider community