Guardian Rose: Selfless Gemma sacrificed maternity leave to save Anston preschool

Guardian Rose presentation to Gemma Willets of North Anston Pre-School from Rachel Gyte
Guardian Rose presentation to Gemma Willets of North Anston Pre-School from Rachel Gyte

A selfless manager who sacrificed most of her maternity leave to save a North Anston preschool from closure has been recognised by the community with a Guardian Rose.

Gemma Wilmott, manager of Anston Stones Early Years, was presented with the accolade in a surprise ceremony on Thursday, February 18.

Despite being on maternity leave, Gemma stepped in to help when the school became at risk of closure in March 2014.

Rachel Gyte, who made the nomimation, said: “Parents and staff formed a working group and we concluded that we needed someone with more expertise, and that was when we approached Gemma.

“Even with a four month old and a two year old to look after, she said yes straight away. Gemma had no time to settle in slowly, as the job ahead was massive.

“She had to recruit new staff to complete the team and the amount of paperwork she had to put in place was immense, not to mention running the preschool on a day to day basis.

“She has never once complained or said she wants to give up,” added Rachel.

The preschool was later inspected by Ofsted at the end of January this year, achieving a “good” rating.

Rachel added: It shows that the 18 months of hard work Gemma has put in has all been worth it and what a fabulous team she has built around her. S

“She has saved an important service for the community of Anston and I know it will go from strength to strength.”

You can nominate someone for a Guardian Rose by calling 01909 500500 or email newsroom@worksop-guardian.co.uk with details of who you would like to nominate and why.

Our Guardian Roses are generously donated by Walker’s House of Flowers, which is based in the Priory Shopping Centre in Worksop.