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The Corporation

Posted: 07/07/16

Dawn rises on new nursery design

The artistic talent of a graphic design student at West Nottinghamshire College has become the face of a newly-opened eco-nursery in Mansfield Woodhouse.

Sunnydale owner Gemma Skeavington with graphic design student Charley Bircumshaw

Sunnydale Nursery, on Northfield Lane, is the brainchild of Gemma Skeavington and her partner Gavin, and is based in a 200-year-old renovated barn over which now boasts modern eco-friendly appliances.

Gemma, herself an ex-childcare student at West Notts, approached the college’s creative arts students to bring their ideas for a new logo for the business.

Gemma visited learners on the Level 3 Graphic Design course and explained the nature of her business and its countryside setting and received more than 20 ideas for the new logo.

It was eighteen-year-old Charley Bircumshaw’s design with its yellow sunshine climbing from behind the green hills which inspired Gemma to pick a winner.

Charley, who is set to study at Loughborough University next term on the product design engineering degree, said: “I knew Gemma didn’t want characters in her logo, so immediately my mind went to the pre-school vivid coloured drawings that children create.

“I went online for inspiration and I went for the cheery sunshine and countryside as the design. It’s great to see my work up on display on the nursery sign.”

Gemma, who studied on the two-year childcare diploma at the college in 2000, went on to work as a teaching assistant and a nursery nurse. She decided to pursue teaching as a career and came back to the college to resit her GCSE maths and did her Access to Teaching course.

Following her teaching degree at Sheffield Hallam University, Gemma worked as a Year 3 and 4 teacher, later becoming an assistant head at a primary school.

She said: “I was very impressed by all the students’ designs, but Charley’s really did stand out and I’m delighted to use this as our new logo.

“We officially open next Monday (11 July) and I can’t wait to introduce our first children to Sunnydale and see all our new staff.

“In the future I’m looking to employ apprentice childcare assistants through West Nottinghamshire College – which is where I very first started.”

Gemma and Gavin officially opened Sunnydale Nursery on Saturday 2 July with Mansfield Mayor Kate Allsop cutting the official ribbon to the new business. Guests included children and parents who will be using the facility and a representative from First Enterprise – the organisation which provided start-up funding for the nursery’s conversion.

Sunnydale will cater for up to 40 children at a time and includes a baby room, an area for toddlers aged 2-3 and a pre-school and after school children’s scheme.