Following our exciting announcement in September that our Founder, Margaret Huntington, has been posthumously selected as a finalist for the Lifetime Achievement Awards we are proud to say she has been chosen as the winner of the award at the 16th National NMT Nursery Awards. Margaret has been recognised as one of the very best in the early years and nursery sector!
In November our two Nursery Managers, Hayley and Rachel, as well as our Operations Director and Margaret’s daughter, Claire, attended the NMT Awards judges interviews in London. Here Rachel represented Margaret in an interview to discuss Margaret’s life, achievements and legacy in order to build on the application the Footprints team had sent to Nursery Management Today. It was a day fraught with anticipation and a few nerves but with moral support from Hayley and Claire, Rachel did an excellent job representing Margaret and the Footprints team.
Hayley, Rachel, Claire and our Managing Director and Margaret’s son, James, all attended a glittering Gala Evening at the Hilton London Metropole in December to find out the result of the awards. Being in a room full of other inspirational colleagues, the Lifetime Achievement Award was the final award to be announced on the evening by host, Gethin Jenkins, and Victoria Hepburn from main sponsors, The Consortium Early Years. With a silence filling the room, Margaret was announced as the winner to rapturous applause. Claire represented Footprints and made an emotional speech dedicated to her mother and the legacy she has left behind for her family and for the staff at Footprints Day Nurseries. The heartfelt speech prompted a spontaneous standing ovation from the hundreds of attendees at the Gala Evening.
The judges said “Margaret commenced her career as a teenager, growing into the role of nursery manager and then progressing through teacher training. During her career which spanned several decades, Margaret was a global early years pioneer. An advocate for striving to ensure all children have the best possible start in life. Founding a new nursery business aged 62 years is sheer testament to Margaret’s passion, devotion, dedication and her life-long legacy.”
We are incredibly overwhelmed and proud of the achievement and would like to thank the wonderful judges for selecting Margaret as winner of the highly coveted award. A big thank you to NMT Magazine and to the staff members, families and colleagues in the early years sector for their tributes and congratulations on the night and in the days following.
The Footprints team will continue Margaret’s dedication and passion for childcare, and we will continue to help make a difference to children’s lives and support their wonderful families.
To see the full list of winners of the NMT Nursery Awards 2018 please follow the link: http://nmt-magazine.co.uk/nursery-awards
Macclesfield Express coverage: https://www.cheshire-live.co.uk/news/chester-cheshire-news/posthumous-award-pioneer-nursery-teacher-15562774