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Ann Halliday praised by North Bushey Baptist Church minister Fiona Penney
THE minister of North Bushey Baptist Church has praised volunteer Ann Halliday for her work with a mother and toddlers’ group over the past 25 years.
Mrs Halliday, 55, started the group, which is based in the church, shortly after the birth of her eldest son.
She said: "At the time, there wasn’t much provision for new mums in the area, a lot of the toddler groups had closed down.
"A group of six mothers, me included, decided to set up the mother and toddlers’ facility for ourselves really - we wanted a chance to socialise, spend quality time with our children and share tips.
"From there the group has really grown, we now have about 15 to 20 children come in on a week, and about ten mothers.
"I’ve enjoyed my time here so much, that even though my children are now grown up, I still like to volunteer here, along with the great team that supports me."
The group meets every Tuesday between 9.30am and 11.30am at the church in Park Avenue. Entry is free, but donations of a £1 are always appreciated, to cover the group’s overheads.
Mrs Halliday, of Mill Way, Bushey, said: "A lot of the children move on from here to nursery, but the mothers sometimes pop back which is nice. It gives the children a good grounding, so they know what to expect when they get to nursery and then on to school.
"We do lots of fun activities with the children, from fundraisers to Christmas nativities.
"It’s a really enjoyable group, a lifeline for new mothers, and a wonderful way to get to know the local community."
Rev Fiona Penney, praised Mrs Halliday’s dedication to the group since its inception.
She said: "The church is so grateful for the contribution Ann has made not just to the church, but the local community.
"She wouldn’t want to take all the credit herself, but she has played a very central role and has been ably supported by a number of volunteers.
"She really is a spectacular person."
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