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Wooden pallets upcycled to benefit Gresford nursery

CHILDREN at a Gresford nursery will be making the most of unwanted wooden pallets and old truck tyres donated by a Wrexham distribution firm.

McCarthy Distribution, based on Wrexham Industrial Estate, delivered the items to Homestead Nursery where they will be used outside to construct treehouses, adventure trails and other structures for the children to play on or turned into work stations inside for them to sit at and paint or play.

The new partnership between the two businesses was created after Co-Owner of Homestead Nursery Kim Sankey-Jones met Mike McCarthy, McCarthy Distribution Managing Director and his wife Louise, Marketing Manager, through a mutual friend.

She told them about her Reggio-inspired nursery which focuses heavily on outdoor learning and using natural materials and reused items during playtime to encourage children’s innate curiosity and imagination.

Kim said she hoped the link up with McCarthy Distribution would be the first of many with local businesses who might have other items they no longer need and welcomed Louise McCarthy to Homestead to see for herself how the firm’s donations would fit in.

Louise said: “I know both myself and Mike were very impressed with the passion Kim had for her nursery and its style and ethos of early years learning.

“We were delighted to hear that we might be able to contribute in some small way to the children’s enjoyment by donating surplus wooden pallets and old truck tyres and we have happily organised for them to be delivered.

“It’s an exciting new partnership for us. It’s a novel and very useful way for us to look at how we might find ways of reusing things we have at our warehouse and stop some of them from ending up in landfill.

“With only having to take them such a short way to Homestead, we are not racking up too many miles finding them a new home.”

Louise added: “The nursery has such a homely and welcoming feel. It’s bursting with all sorts of creativity and the children all look so happy and engaged, either getting muddy and exploring the outside world or inside being creative with all the amazing array of natural materials which are on offer to them.

“It’s a really wonderful environment for them to enjoy and I am so glad that things which are no longer of use to McCarthy Distribution will be used so productively for the children here.”

Kim said: “The donations from McCarthy Distribution are fantastic and can be put to such good use here.

“It is the first of many partnerships we hope to nurture with other local businesses to make sure we take advantage of items they no longer need and our children can make the most of.

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“We are always on the look out for all sorts of different things. It could be books and magazines, off cuts of card, material, felt. Trophies, formica samples or unbroken tiles which are no longer wanted. It could be bottle tops, cup holders, beads, candles, old jewellery.

“Or larger items like the pallets McCarthy Distribution have so kindly spared.

“We are very much open to suggestion and would welcome any businesses to come forward to talk to us about items they would like to find a new home for.”

Kim, a former nurse, midwife and healthcare visitor, opened her business on Old Wrexham Road almost two years ago with co-founder Rachel Lloyd, a former early years teacher.

The pair, both mothers-of-three, have been friends since their daughters started a local playgroup together and become frustrated in their former jobs at being unable to put their research-based beliefs about pre-school care and learning into practice.

So they decided to quit their jobs and create their own childcare setting which is designed to encourage children’s natural instinct to explore and investigate and has the motto; ‘Give your child the best day….every day.’

It follows the principles of the internationally admired Reggio approach for early years education which views young children as individuals who are curious about their world and have the powerful potential to learn from all that surrounds them.

They spent considerable time planning the sensory driven environment for their nursery, visiting and worked for a short period in a nursery in Northern Italy, where the Reggio approach originates from, to learn more about how to implement the system which works on the premise that the environment is a child’s third teacher.

Every week, the Homestead team review their provision to ensure that everything the children come into contact with encourages them to engage with the people and world around them.

Rachel explained more and said: “At Homestead, we have very little in the way of plastic toys, but we prefer to focus on natural products and other interesting items which means there is no one sided outcome from playing with them. There are millions of different options which children can decide for themselves and use their imagination about what to create or how to play with them.

“It’s all about encouraging the children to be independent and explore the world for themselves. It’s wonderful to watch how inventive and creative they are.”

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