Diane Wycherley, Senior Area Manager for Tops Day Nurseries, has been recognised by Nursery Management Today (NMT) as one of the 5 Most Inspirational People in the childcare sector.
The award was created in 2014 by NMT whose aim is to discover, recognise and reward 5 people who are making a significant difference to the children within their care and their parents, and are an inspiration to the people who work round them.
There were a number of categories in which Diane was required to prove herself, but she was particularly recognised for her project of launching new no added sugar menus across the family of nurseries. In 2015, Diane became a mother herself and so was drawn to the high amount of sugar present in children’s meals and the detrimental side effects this has on children’s health. Following months of research into the sugar content of certain foods, as well as learning how food is processed in the body and the right nutrients that children need to develop, Diane designed the new menus. They ensure the children have a fully balanced diet throughout the day and only use the natural sugars occurring in fruit and vegetables to flavor the food. These were launched on 1st February 2016 across the nurseries.
Diane said of her winning the award, “I was so proud when I found out I’d been nominated, so to go on and win the award is completely overwhelming. My aim for the menus was and always will be for the children to be living healthier lives, but the reception following the launch has been incredible. The menus have been embraced by the children, parents and members of staff, with one Cook saying she has rediscovered her love for cooking. We have many more exciting plans for the menus in the future and I’m excited to where we will go next.”
Cheryl Hadland, Managing Director for Tops Day Nurseries, commented, “Diane has inspired colleagues at Tops Day Nurseries in many ways, juggling her work-life balance brilliantly, and now leading a revolution in a healthier diet for not only her own child, but the 2000+ children attending our family of nurseries. Without Diane’s research and dedication to improving the diet of the children, the menus may not have changed so radically, so I’m delighted she has been recognised with this award and so proud that she is a part of our Tops family.”
Diane was chosen as one of the Top 5 from NMT as the judges were particularly impressed by the way that Diane has taken on championing healthy eating at Tops Day Nurseries, and has proactively researched the sugar content of the food previously being provided to the children and changed the menus for the benefit of both the children and their families.
Diane was presented with her award at the NMT Awards Ceremony on 2nd June at the Barclays HQ in London. To find out more about the new menus launched at Tops Day Nurseries or to find your local nursery, you can visit the website www.topsdaynurseries.co.uk.