Reunion to mark nursery's 20th birthday

A day nursery owner has launched an appeal to find some of their original children and parents to help them celebrate their 20th anniversary.

The Brambles Children's Day Nursery in Gwersyllt near Wrexham is staging a reunion on Saturday May 28 to mark its successful two decades in business.

The are inviting all of their former children and parents to come along and help celebrate on the day.

Over the past 20 years The Brambles has grown from a small concern employing less than a handful of staff to a flourishing community asset.

There are now 18 qualified staff who look after up to 36 children a day.

Helping them celebrate the landmark is Coxeys, a leading North Wales' firm of chartered accountants with offices in Wrexham and Saltney, which has been a part of its successful development for the past eight years.

Founder Wendy Evans, 59, a former teaching assistant, said: "Over the years we've looked after hundreds of children and formed many lasting friendships, so we're hoping that as many of them as possible will come along to the open day and help us mark our big anniversary in style.

"We have inevitably lost touch with a number of our original children and some of those who followed so we would be thrilled if they could come and join us for our special 20th anniversary celebration.

"It would be lovely to see them again and find out what they have been up to since we last saw them."

As the business has gradually grown so has the staff. Wendy recalls that in the early days it was just herself and three others, including her then teenage daughter, Faye.

Faye, now 35, is still with The Brambles and has risen to become its manager in charge of 18 staff who lovingly care for the 36 children from baby-age to eight years who use the nursery every day.

Wendy paid tribute to the expert advice and guidance she had received from Coxeys which was "invaluable"

She said: "I am particularly grateful to Coxeys because they have been absolutely brilliant from the outset. They are extremely professional and the staff are always very friendly and helpful.

"They are first class in terms of the service they provide. "They've been very supportive and professional and are always there just waiting to help us when we need them.

"Our aim is to provide a safe, stimulating, homely environment, together with a high standard of pre-school early years education, and whilst the language spoken in the nursery is primarily English there is an introduction to basic Welsh.

"We also raise money for good causes and over the years we must have managed to contribute upwards of £50,000 to various charities."

One of those to benefit has been Alder Hey children's hospital in Liverpool, which is a cause quite literally close to Wendy's own heart.

She was born with a hole in the heart and had surgery to correct the condition when she was just six.

So complete has been her recovery that she's successfully taken part in a series of tough athletic tests over the years, including one London Marathon and 12 consecutive Great North Runs, with plans to do another of these events in the near future.

Coxeys Director Anthony Lewis said: "We're delighted to help The Brambles celebrate its 20th anniversary and of our association with them over the past eight years.

"We're always pleased to see an establishment not only looking after the welfare of so many children over the years but also having such a positive influence on their future.

Wendy has already said a big thank you to her staff for 20 years of success by treating them to a day trip to London. Starting with a champagne breakfast, the day included a ride on the famous London Eye and a meal at the Hard Rock Café.

At the open day on May 28 she hopes to welcome as many as possible of the children and parents who have used The Brambles since 1996 and helped to make it the success it is today.

"We've already invited along quite a few of them who have become our friends over the years but as we've cared for many hundreds of children there must be many more of them out there and we'd be delighted to see lots of them joining us at the event, which starts at 11am and runs into the afternoon."