Diocese of Portsmouth

    Church-run nursery celebrates anniversary

    26 July 2017

    Above: Staff Natasha Wells and Helen Marshall with (middle, left to right): Som Pal, Zachary Rhule, Ava Monk, Bailey Simmonds, and Stevie Bleach, all aged 4: (front, l to r): Samuel Bacon, Rebecca Morrison, Raya Taylor, Maryam Labaran, Harper Taylor, and Brooke Joyce-Ragless, all aged 4

    CHILDREN and staff at a church-run nursery celebrated their 25th anniversary with a bouncy castle, magician and a cake.

    St Jude’s Church Nursery, in Silver Street, Southsea, was officially registered in July 1992, and has always been rated by Ofsted as “good”. It now caters for more than 100 children aged between two and four, and has recently moved to being open 51 weeks a year.

    The celebrations involved a bouncy castle for children inside the nursery and the visit of a magician who delighted the children with his amazing tricks.

    And it was a special moment for deputy nursery manager Helen Marshall, who has been working at St Jude’s Church Nursery for 24 of its 25 year-history.

    Manager Levinia Glanville said: “There has been a childcare element for the building for many years prior to 1992. Initially a parent and toddler group started here around 35 years ago, and then it became a part-time nursery. Once parents began to be employed it needed to be registered with Ofsted, which is what happened 25 years ago.

    “The first manager, Lesley Bowden, was in charge until 2012 and helped to make the nursery as professional as it is today. Fifteen years ago we completed an extension which allowed for more rooms and a garden and meant we could also take children from age two. More recently, wraparound care was increased, with the nursery being open from 8-6pm during the term.

    “The nursery has always promoted the great links with both the St Jude’s Church and St Jude's Primary School and church members regularly come into nursery to share stories and songs - often accompanied with the guitar.

    “We’ve recently moved to being open 51 weeks a year, which has already proved popular. And Helen Marshall is our special educational needs co-ordinator and has shaped our expertise in this field - making us popular with families of children with additional needs.

    “The new and existing funding options available for most children has meant that more children can access nursery provision. We feel the nursery is able to offer affordable childcare whilst still delivering an excellent service to both the children and their families.”

    For more information, see www.stjudeschurchnursery.co.uk.