Rowan Tree make festive food bank donation

Rowan Tree food bank

Kind-hearted families and colleagues from Rowan Tree Day Nursery in Welwyn Garden City have been embracing the season of goodwill by helping feed local people facing hardship.

At the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ setting on Guessens Road, parents and staff made generous contributions of ambient food, hygiene products and household cleaning items to the New Zion Christian Fellowship Foodbank, with colleagues even deciding to scrap their annual ‘Secret Santa’ initiative and instead putting the money they would have spent towards the worthy cause.

Over the course of 2023, Rowan Tree have been supporting The Trussell Trust in their important mission to end food poverty, with the nursery proudly donating over 300kg in food and personal care items, as well as 90 Easter eggs and over 100 advent calendars.

Rowan Tree Business Administrator, Rebecca Hibbert explained;

“We draw ever closer to Christmas which brings smiles and excitement to many families. However, it can also be a very difficult and stressful time for those less fortunate. Rowan Tree staff and families have been working hard all year to support our chosen charity, The Trussell Trust, by raising much needed funds and making regular contributions to our community food bank, and we are so grateful for all the support we’ve had in doing so.”



Exciting author visit for Hampstead Gate children

Jessica du Rand at Hampstead Gate

There was excitement all round for children at Hampstead Gate Day Nursery in Milton Keynes as they received an exciting visit from newly published author, Jessica du Rand.

At the award-winning setting on Eelbrook Avenue, pre-schoolers were captivated as they enjoyed a special storytelling session with Jessica, where she debuted her first book, titled ‘If You Believe’, which was motivated by her young son who also attends the nursery.

During the session, Jessica read the inspiring story to the group and encouraged them to find the fox hidden on each page, before engaging in a discussion with the children about what they would like to be when they grow up, with the message that no dream is too big.

Author, Jessica du Rand explained;

“I am thrilled to finally be able to share the book, which has been a real passion project over the past two years, and it’s been incredible to see it being enjoyed by groups like this and hearing their hopes for the future. Writing a children’s book has been on my bucket list since the age of 14 and reading to my son on maternity leave really inspired me to see it through. My hope is that it encourages kids to be bold, dream big and believe in themselves.”

Hampstead Gate Day Nursery Manager, Elkie Taylor said;

“This was a fantastic experience for the children, and we are so grateful to Jessica for taking the time to come in, as well as leaving copies of her brilliant book for everyone to enjoy. We are hugely proud to have such a strong parent partnership at Hampstead Gate and have families that are so devoted to helping us create these enriching learning opportunities.”

Jessica is due to release a series of three children’s travel-guide books in the new year.

‘If You Believe’ is now available to purchase online at Amazon, with illustrations from South African artist, Elmien Nel from Mien Creations.



Cedar Park children decorate ‘Eco-Tree’ for Christmas

Children from Cedar Park Day Nursery in Twyford have been showcasing their ‘green fingers’ and getting into the festive spirit by decorating their very own ‘eco’ Christmas tree.

At the award-winning setting on Bridge Farm Road, children from the Butterflies room embellished the Christmas tree out the front of the nursery with a selection of decorations, crafted from natural materials, as well as cheerio wreaths for birds and wildlife to enjoy.

As part of the activities, children showcased their creativity by making bird feeders in the shape of Christmas decorations, from stars and bells to snowmen and candy canes, as well as embarking on daily observations to see if animals had eaten the cheerios from the tree.

It is for such initiatives that Cedar Park have been awarded a prestigious Green Flag award as part of the international Eco-Schools scheme, the highest accolade is the programme, which is given for exceptional environmental awareness and conservation practices.

Cedar Park Day Nursery Manager, Rachael Main explained;

“We are hugely proud of our creative and environmentally conscious children who came together to spread festive cheer for all the families arriving to nursery each day. Not only did this activity ignite their artistic flare, but helped reinforce the importance of using sustainable materials, making mindful choices and taking care of the planet and creatures within it.”  



Seasonal celebrations at Cedars

Festivities were well underway at Cedars Day Nursery in Leighton Buzzard as delighted children marked an exciting array of calendar events and prepared for Christmas to arrive.

At the end of November, children and colleagues from the award-winning setting on Mentmore Road marked Mickey Mouse’s 94th birthday with a Disney themed dress-up day, with costumes inspired by beloved ‘Monsters, Inc.’ characters and favourites including Pluto and Minnie, where children enjoyed themed arts and crafts and a special birthday cake.

The celebrations follow activities around Remembrance Day, where pre-schoolers delved into history and learnt about the significance of Armistice Day to so many, before creating their own poppies and visiting the local memorial to lay them down with the other tributes.

To help get into the festive spirit, pre-schoolers were thrilled to practice their literacy skills by writing their very own letters to Santa, penning their wishes for Christmas and hopes for the new year, which they compiled into an envelope and posted to the North Pole after walking to their local post-box, observing the winter changes in the environment as they went.  

Cedars Day Nursery Quality Manager, Annabelle Lynch explained;

“We mark a wide range of events throughout the year to create special memories for our children and give them a wider understanding of the world. With Christmas just around the corner, this has been a magical time in nursery and we have loved helping our little ones write their Christmas letters, all whilst practicing key writing skills ready for school.”

Cedars seasonal celebrations



Westwood children create a hedgehog house

After learning all about hibernation, children from Westwood Day Nursery in Coventry were delighted to create their very own garden hedgehog house for the creatures to use in winter.

Having co-researched the purpose of a hedgehog house and compiled a list of the resources they would need to make it, pre-schoolers from the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Westwood Business Park gathered a range of natural materials including straw, twigs, leaves and conkers, which they put inside the structure, painted by practitioner, Isabelle.

After adding all the components, children took the hedgehog house outside to the nursery’s wooded area, where they laid it down ready to welcome new residents, before heading back inside to read a range of themed stories, including Childbase book; ‘Hetty the Hedgehog’.

As part of the project, pre-schoolers have been making weekly visits to the wooded area to ensure the hedgehog house is well maintained and replenished for its guests, as well as carrying out observations and discussing the impact of the changing seasons on wildlife.

It is for such initiatives that Westwood have been awarded a prestigious Green Flag award as part of the international Eco-Schools scheme, the highest accolade is the programme, which is given for exceptional environmental awareness and conservation practices.

Westwood Day Nursery Deputy Manager, Sue Zaparaniuk explained;

“Our hedgehog house project has really helped to cement the children’s understanding of hibernation, and this has been a brilliant way of linking back to our Eco-Schools curriculum. Through teamwork and resourcefulness, our little conservationists built a snug and warm shelter and learnt how animals adapt to survive the harsh winter months. It’s amazing to see how much they’ve absorbed and their compassion for nature is heartwarming to witness.”



Hampstead Gate Christmas Fayre raises over £900 for charity

Festivities were well underway at Hampstead Gate Day Nursery in Milton Keynes as families gathered at the setting for a fun-filled Christmas Fayre, all whilst raising money for charity.

Following 12 months of fundraising for The Trussell Trust food bank network, families and colleagues from the award-winning setting on Eelbrook Avenue were delighted to end the year on a high with a further £900 contribution to the charity, generated from the event with stalls and attractions including a reindeer food making station and festive biscuit decorating.

During the event, families also took part in a Christmas auction and raffle, with prizes including hampers filled with sweet treats and gifts for the holidays, as well as Christmas crackers, cards and gift wrap, whilst children enjoyed fair games and a festive bake sale.

Throughout the year, Hampstead Gate staff teams and families have taken part in countless fundraising ventures for the cause, from teddy bear’s picnics and pyjama days to summer fetes and sponsored events, as well as holding regular collections of essential food and household items to donate to the MK Food Bank to help local people in need.

Hampstead Gate Day Nursery Deputy Manager, Katie Hughes explained;

“Food banks provide a lifeline to so many people during these times and we are so pleased to be rounding off a brilliant year of fundraising with this donation to The Trussell Trust. The way our nursery community has pulled together to help ease food poverty has been truly inspiring and we are so grateful for everyone’s kindness and support. The Christmas Fayre was a brilliant way to catch up with our lovely nursery families whilst helping others too.”

Hampstead Gate Christmas Fayre



Windmill Hill make charity advent calendar donation

Windmill Hill advent donation

Parents and practitioners from Windmill Hill Day Nursery in Swindon have made a donation of advent calendars to their local food bank to ensure no child goes without this Christmas.

After appealing to families at the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Windmill Hill Business Park, colleagues were delighted to hand over a total of 64 chocolate advent calendars to the Swindon Food Collective, who then distributed them to families in the community who needed them most, along with emergency food parcels for the winter.

Over the past year, Windmill Hill have been fundraising for The Trussell Trust network, as well as holding regular collections for Swindon Food Collective, their local food bank, with generous donations of essential food and household items from both parents and staff.

Windmill Hill Day Nursery Manager, Kayleigh Blaylock explained;

“During this festive season, it’s important to remember those who may be less fortunate. It brings us immense joy to be able to put a smile on the faces of those in need, especially the little ones who will be eagerly counting down the days until Christmas. We have had another fantastic year of fundraising and are so grateful for the support of our wonderful families.”



Celebrating three decades of service at Hampstead Gate

There was cause for celebration at Hampstead Gate Day Nursery in Milton Keynes as the childcare team honoured their beloved colleague, Melanie Thomas, as she marked her milestone 30-year anniversary at Childbase Partnership.

Having started with the company in 1993 at sister-setting Meadow View Day Nursery in Newport Pagnell, Melanie has progressed through a variety of roles over her three-decade career, shaping the lives of countless children and providing expert mentorship to the staff team, which she continues to do as Nursery Practitioner at the setting on Eelbrook Avenue.

A keen runner, Melanie has taken part in countless fundraising events over the years, using her skills to raise money for charities including Mind, Cancer Research UK and Alzheimer’s Society, contributing to the three million plus total raised by Childbase Partnership in the last 30 years, and more recently taking part in food donation drives to support The Trussell Trust.

To mark the special occasion, proud colleagues presented Melanie with a flower bouquet, gifts, balloons and handwritten cards of appreciation from colleagues, as well as enjoying a lunch courtesy of grateful managers and reminiscing over her favourite career memories.

Hampstead Gate Day Nursery Deputy Manager, Katie Hughes explained;

“Mel’s unwavering commitment to the learning and development of our children is truly inspiring. She has provided hundreds of children with a strong foundation for their future education, growth and wellbeing and her passion for early childhood education makes her a joy to be around. Parents trust her insightful advice, reassuring presence, and genuine care for each child at our nursery. We feel truly lucky to have her at Hampstead Gate.”

Hampstead Gate Mel 30 years service



Woodlands Walk raises over £300 for The Trussell Trust

Two colleagues from Woodlands Day Nursery in Barnet were delighted to complete an 8k walk through London in order to raise vital funds for The Trussell Trust food bank network.

Business Administrator, Sophia Southam and Nursery Practitioner, Suchi Nath, embarked on the journey from Camden Town to Little Venice on foot and back again in a total of 2 hours and 20 minutes, along with Sophia’s son for motivation, raising a grand total of £320.00 from generous supporters, which will now go towards feeding local people facing hardship.

The 8k walk via Regents Canal is the latest in a series of fundraisers for the team, who have recently enjoyed initiatives including summer fetes and dress up days, as well as regular collections of essential food and toiletries for the Chipping Barnet Foodbank.

Woodlands Day Nursery Business Administrator, Sophia Southam explained;

“We want to express our deepest gratitude to everyone who supported us in this meaningful cause. The Trussell Trust does an amazing job providing emergency food and support to people in crisis. By raising funds, we are helping them ensure that no one goes hungry in our community. It was an amazing day filled with laughter, motivation, and determination.”

Woodlands have adopted The Trussell Trust for a year-long fundraising and donation drive.

Woodlands Barnet 8k charity walk


Cedars Day Nursery - Leighton Buzzard

We prioritise the importance of outdoor play at Cedars Day Nursery in Leighton Buzzard. All children at our Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ nursery have access to our large, natural garden area on a daily basis as we recognise the impact that being outdoors has on a child’s social, emotional and physical development. The children enjoy planting vegetables and tasting their produce, served by our dedicated Nursery Chef.

Cedars Day Nursery, Mentmore Rd, Leighton Buzzard LU7 2PA

Tel:  01525 850200