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Monday, 28 February 2011 (3012508)
Chancellor opens lodge amenity
by Henry James

THE chancellor of Edge Hill University and psychologist, professor Tanya Byron, is to open a new childcare and community facility in Bickerstaffe on Thursday, March 3 at 3pm.

Professor Byron, best known for her work on the TV series House of Tiny Tearaways and Little Angels, will tour Bickerstaffe Lodge which will offer full time nursery care from six months to school age, as well as an after-school club and much needed space for local residents and community initiatives.

Bickerstaffe Lodge is a community project – principally funded by a loan from the previous government’s Futurebuilders programme, it is a not-for-profit venture which began five years ago as the dream of three parents whose young children attended Bickerstaffe C of E Primary School. Thus was born Bickerstaffe Children’s Services (BCS) which already runs ‘Fledglings; morning nursery and ‘Bickersplatts' after school club in the school building.

Tight budgets have seen many members of the community spending weekends building ramps, tidying the site and generally “mucking in” to ensure that the Lodge is ready to open in March.

“We are delighted that Professor Byron has agreed to come and open our fabulous new building which has been created for the local community, by the local community,” said John Mercer of BCS. “It is real evidence of what even a very small group of local people can achieve when they work together.”

Mr Mercer, who is also associate director of the Business School at Edge Hill University, added: “We’re particularly pleased that Professor Byron, an early years development expert, is opening the centre because it reflects our commitment to early years excellence.

”Two of our staff are already studying for Early Years Professional status at Edge Hill University, and we hope to develop and deepen our links with the university, as well as making available high quality childcare and early years development to the university’s staff and students in a countryside accessible close both to the M58 and the university.“


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