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Nursery founder’s pride at MBE birthday title
A CHILDREN'S worker who founded a community nursery 27 years ago says she is ‘shocked and thrilled’ to become an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours.
Jenny McMahon, 59, of Happy house pre-school, Clayton-le-Woods was given the accolade for her services to children and families.
Since Happy House was formed in 1985, Jenny has seen hundreds of children pass through its doors.
The original nursery was within a terraced house but later moved to Spring Meadow Community Centre where Jenny currently leads a team looking after 26 pre-school children.
Jenny has since become a leader in her field and is a county council assessor in childcare, and an advisor and mentor to Sure Start centres throughout Lancashire.
The arrival of a letter from Buckingham Palace, left Jenny, who lives on Halton Avenue with husband Graham, thinking she was the subject of an elaborate practical joke.
“I thought it was Graham winding me up,” she said.
“He’s well known for his jokes so I didn’t take him on but when I phoned the Palace they confirmed it. I didn’t think they gave honours like this to ordinary people.
“It’s an immense honour and made me feel very proud of all my family and all the people who make the nursery a success.
“It started of from humble beginnings but we’ve made it a real community concern.
“Time are hard for parents at the moment but we try to make things as easy and as flexible as we can to suit families.
“We’ve also had great support from all the local authorities.”
Jenny is now looking forward to a trip to the Palace later this year, accompanied by Graham, and her sons, Graham Junior and Daniel.