Women rally to save nursery from closure

Four women have saved a nursery from closure.

Bewbush Community Nursery, in the Bewbush Centre, in Dorsten Square, faced possible closure when West Sussex County Council (WSCC) decided it would stop funding it from April 1 this year.

Four members of staff have been through a ‘roller coaster ride’ since that announcement was made in 2011 and have created a ‘staff mutual’.

This means the nursery will continue as a financially independent service.

The newly appointed directors of the nursery Linda Godley, Rebecca Wright, Emily Worsfold and Sarah Risby said they were delighted to be able to continue offering the service.

A statement from the directors said: “We are delighted with the decision.

It has been a roller coaster ride, with many ups and downs, but our passion, enthusiasm and determination has enabled us to continue offering good quality and affordable childcare for the benefit of our families and the local community.

“We have learnt so much in the last two years and are excited to be able to dedicate our time in fulfilling our vision statement ‘Laying foundations for Children and Families to build a stronger Community’.”

Cllr Chris Oxlade (Lab, Bewbush and Ifield West) said: “I’ve had the honour of supporting the team at Bewbush Nursery over the last two years and I’m in awe of the dedication and hard work Linda, Bekkie and all the team at Bewbush Nursery have put into the project.

“The process has been long and intricate, but the main result will be keeping the nursery open.”

Cllr Peter Evans (Con, East Preston and Ferring), county council cabinet member for children and families, said: “The formation of the staff mutual to take over the running of Bewbush Community Nursery is a testament to the hard work of all involved.

“It gives staff involved the freedom to continue to develop the nursery and to provide the same high quality service to meet the needs of local families and the community.

“As things stands, we are looking for the nursery to be formally handed over to the staff mutual in the next couple of months.”