Hitchin’s Smartys Day Nursery celebrates 25th birthday

Celebrating 25 years at Smartys Day Nursery in Hitchin. Picture: Smartys

Celebrating 25 years at Smartys Day Nursery in Hitchin. Picture: Smartys - Credit: Archant

A day nursery in Hitchin has celebrated its 25th birthday.

Smartys Day Nursery, based off Burford Way on the town’s Westmill estate, marked the big day on Thursday – exactly a quarter of a century after it started service on Monday, September 13, 1993.

The charity-run day nursery, which was founded by Westmill community stalwart Mick Furr, looks after children up to the age of five. Two staff members have been there more than 20 years – Emma Nuttall and Rachel Ostick.

Nursery manager Romina Whitelock told the Comet she was thrilled to reach this milestone.

She said: “This is a massive achievement and I am so pleased that I have been able to celebrate the 20th year and now the 25th year of Smartys. Here’s to many more.

“This wouldn’t be possible without my great team, parents and children, as well as all those who support us with our fundraising.”

Smartys is set to hold a tea party at 3.30pm on Friday, September 28, to celebrate the 25th year – with any past, present or new friends of Smartys welcome to come and join in.

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The nursery is also holding its annual quiz and curry night on Saturday, October 13, to help towards funding Smartys’ development of its building and resources.

Smartys’ building was bought by the Westmill Community Association in 1966 and put up at its current site by people living on Westmill – with Smartys opened as part of the association.

Smartys became a registered charity in its own right in September 1993.

Mrs Furr, who was appointed MBE in recognition of her work managing the old Westmill Community Centre from its opening in 1974 until its demolition last year, is pleased to see the nursery flourishing.

She said: “Smartys has managed well with our treasured old community building, which was originally built in 1940 and used as a barrack hut at RAF Henlow – and is still as strong as ever.

“In 2016 the building was extended to provide more children with spaces. This was achieved by our dedicated manager Romina Whitelock, the staff team, community and in-house fundraising.

“Hopefully Smartys will still be here for another 25 years.”

To find out more about Smartys, give the team a call on 01462 441397 or email them at info@smartysdaynursery.co.uk.