One of our customers, Mariatu Siddique, has recently set up a nursery for children in a formerly disused estate office in Hackney.
Mariatu, who lives at Hindle House, has been hard at work decorating and furnishing the space at Charterhouse Road, and today it is unrecognisable from its former state.
She has recently passed her Ofsted inspection and has worked in childcare for 15 years. She said: “I have always enjoyed my career and have an interest in developing children's learning to start them up with a brighter future.”
Her vision for a childcare facility at Charterhouse Road began with gathering feedback from local residents. She discovered that childcare was badly needed here.
She explains: “I feel it’s important to provide affordable childcare to local residents because every child deserves a good start in life. Where parents are unable to afford childcare, their children can miss out on a good start in life. Charterhouse Road is a family environment, but some parents here were finding it difficult to place their children in childcare. When they found out about Chatter Bees, they were really pleased; I feel proud and happy to be able to meet the needs of parents and children here.”
The Group’s G&O Project Manager, Dirk Lampe, and Community Centre Coordinator, Andy Roberts, have been working with Mariatu for almost two years to help her realise her vision.
Chatter Bees officially opened its doors on 22 September, and currently employs one resident from Hindle House and two from Charterhouse Road. The nursery is open to all Southern Housing Group customers – and non-customers from the local community – who need access to good, affordable childcare. It caters to children aged one to five and offers meals, sports (including yoga for under-twos), free nappies, and Montessori group sessions.
Mariatu said: “Setting up this business has been a long journey for me. I have been given lots of support throughout, including from Southern Housing Group staff and local residents. I’d like to thank Dirk and Andy in particular for their help with finding a space and transforming it.”
Dirk said: “Chatter Bees is a valuable child care resource for people from the local community, especially when demand for good, affordable childcare is at a premium. Mariatu has brought a derelict space back into use, and her business will be invaluable for the local community.”
For enquiries, please contact:
Mary Weeks Communications Manager Southern Housing Group 0207 553 6841