21 January 2015
2 years in the genesis, 6 months in the negotiation and we are at completion. On Monday 12th January, Vicky and I became the proud owners of our very own nursery. This was without great fanfare, albeit with some of the largest and brightest signage in the whole of Cheltenham arriving. Some of you may have seen it on your way past or when you have come to drop off or collect your wonderful children, I hope you like it.
Following our 2 weeks of exceptional training at Evolution HQ, Vicky and I now feel inspired and hugely motivated. We are going to need all the energy we can muster, as you can expect, as there is a rather full diary and to do list. A quick shout out to Jacqui, Kerry and the 2 Sue’s at HQ who looked after us so well and provided such professional and well executed training. Our stay was very enjoyable, this was despite some rather dubious hotel accommodation, picked by yours truly, where the heating was turned up for breakfast but kindly turned off at night, leaving even the decidedly resolute Zara (nursery manager) sleeping with 15 extra layers on.
I thought it might be nice to provide a record or our progress to date:
Progress continues in earnest with both the renovations and reorganisation @The Lodge. We have lucked out with an absolutely awesome nursery team and they are going to be crucial to our success and our sanity. It was great to spend some quality time with Zara on training, getting to know her on a professional as well as personal level. Sandie (Deputy Manager) was holding the fort in our absence and did so showing remarkable leadership qualities - a hidden gem.
The bank rather unexpectedly delivered a bottle of ‘champers’ to us when we were away on training and this was consumed with the in laws this Sunday, nearly a week after official completion, when we had a moment to decompress and reflect for just a moment, followed by a delicious curry with all the family.
Our illustrious leaders Sue and Rob Jones took time out of their visit to Cheltenham Town FC where some of Rob’s Liverpool youth squad protégés are spending time on loan. Gutted I missed a photo opportunity but was made up with some tweets from Rob and another Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler this week.
Our first staff meeting took place on Monday night and we covered an awful lot, instead of the scheduled 30mins we had an hour together and some blatant chocolate bribery was employed to grease the cogs. What a motivated bunch we have, the team particularly liked the planned events we will be implementing and inspiration/resources we can draw on from the wider Evolution Childcare team. There was also a lot of shared excitement about the opportunity to draw up a wish list for new resources, soft furnishings and equipment for each of the children’s rooms. Who doesn't like spending other people’s money?
We have been calling in the favours from friends and family. Ian (brother in law) completed the stunning signage, what a perfectionist. Nigel (father in law) has been engineer, chief locksmith and handyman-patience of a saint. Rob, Sam and Paul (friends) are being shipped in to complete the build and this starts on Friday.
The support we will be receiving from all of the team is very reassuring and with such a good group of staff we are on the right track to achieving our vision for an outstanding nursery setting. We will be sure to keep you posted.
Owner, The Lodge