National award for nursery due to its great care

Backrow, l-r, Kerry Hustler (Alphabet Nursery), Fay Ratcliffe (mum), (dad), June Massey (Epilepsy Action. Front row, l-r, Max Ratcliffe (brother, 3), Maya Ratcliffe THA
Backrow, l-r, Kerry Hustler (Alphabet Nursery), Fay Ratcliffe (mum), (dad), June Massey (Epilepsy Action. Front row, l-r, Max Ratcliffe (brother, 3), Maya Ratcliffe THA
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A Whittlesey nursery has been crowned the winner of a national education award for its support of a young girl with epilepsy.

Alphabet Day Nursery, in Station Road, has received an Epilepsy Action ‘Edward’ award because of its work with five-year-old Maya Ratcliffe.

Maya, who has now moved on to school, has uncontrolled epilepsy as well as hydrocephalus (a build-up of fluid on the brain) and spina bifida (a gap or split in the spine).

Alphabet does not specialise in special educational needs and Maya was the first child with epilepsy to attend. However, Maya’s mum Fay, who nominated the nursery for the award, said it took supporting Maya “in their stride.”

She said: “We believe the care, love and support Maya received at Alphabet Day Nursery is what has made her who she is today.

“She is a happy, confident, bright girl who has settled into school easily and is constantly learning and growing.

“The children at the nursery were encouraged to love Maya just the way she is. A lot of these friends have transferred to school with Maya and we could not have asked for a better start for her.”

Maya, who has previously had meningitis and bilateral hip reconstruction, had a one-to-one member of staff working with her all of the time, and all nursery activities were adapted so Maya could take part in them.

The staff also adjusted Maya’s timetable to fit around her seizures - adding extra naps or moving her meal times - and helped her three-year-old brother Max cope with having an ill sibling.

Alphabet nursery manager Kerry Hustler said: “We are delighted to accept this award.

“Maya is a delightful little girl and we worked to support her in any way we could.

“It is lovely to receive recognition for our work.”