By Ian Dipple Monday 22 October 2012 Updated: 22/10 14:20
A WOMAN who opened the first full day care nursery in Redditch has marked 25 years in business.
Lindsay Bewley started Little Bears Nursery from her home in Church Hill in 1987 with just eight children. In three years numbers had grown to the point where a dedicated building was needed and resulted in a move to their current base in Birmingham Road.
Today the nursery caters for more than 50 children and employs 15 staff.
To mark the occasion a special party was held last Friday (October 19) where children were joined by parents and former staff as well as Redditch MP Karen Lumley who joined in a game of pass the parcel with youngsters.
Lindsay told the Standard it had been a struggle to set-up the nursery and she could never have imagined being in the position she was now, 25 years ago.
"At the time I worked for social services in Birmingham and I'd just had my second child and I could not find childcare I was happy with or was affordable. There were lots of toddler groups in Redditch at the time but no full day care and I had a lot of friends - one was a teacher, another was a midwife - and they begged me to set it up so I did.
"I had to badger the council to let me do it, as they had no idea how to register me, and it was a struggle to get money from the banks who told me I should come back with my husband."
With the support of former councillors Ron and Betty Passingham Lindsay secured a £1,000 enterprise grant which helped her on the way. She said she was proud of the way over the years the nursery had pioneered support for children with special needs and invested in staff training which had resulted in many of them going on to become teachers or speech therapists.
"The first picture I ever had in the paper was me sat with my two children as toddlers on each knee. Now I am looking after my grandchildren while their parents go out to work, so I could never have imagined this would happen."
A FAKE fox hunt will be flooding through
DISRUPTION to train services from Redditch to Birmingham
RESIDENTS are being told to stay away from
A MOBILE speed camera is to begin operating
A HORSE had to be rescued in Barnt Green after ...
ONE OF Worcester's most historic buildings has been brought back ...
YOUNGSTERS in Bidford were banking on people's generosity to help ...