Amazing Orsett Heath nursery wins national charity award

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Amazing Orsett Heath nursery wins national charity award

An Orsett Heath nursery, in Essex, has been crowned winner of a national award for its work supporting children with epilepsy. ‘Mini forest school’, Willow Garden Day Nursery (WGDN) was presented with the Epilepsy Action early years education award by Torie Robinson, member of Epilepsy Action’s Council of Management, on Friday 22 November.

Willow Garden Day Nursery supports Amelia, two, and her family. Amelia was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was six months old. She has focal seizures that happen around the times she is asleep. They are sometimes prolonged which can put her at significant risk.

The nursery staff provide amazing care to Amelia and her family. They have invited epilepsy specialists to come into nursery and give advice about how they can give Amelia the best support possible. The nursery management made sure that all the staff at the nursery were trained to handle Amelia’s seizures safely.

Every member of staff was issued with a stopwatch to time any seizures Amelia has. All the staff have also watched home videos of Amelia’s seizures, so they clearly know what to look out for. Amelia’s current medication makes her very drowsy. The nursery makes sure there is a quiet space for Amelia to rest early in the mornings. They also provide one on one support for her.

The nursery provide support to the whole of Amelia’s family. They regularly check in with the parents, asking how they are doing and offering extra help it it’s needed.

The nursery was nominated for the award by Kelli and Jason Sly, Amelia’s parents. Kelli said: “We are incredibly proud that Amelia can continue to thrive in the nursery setting. Without the incredible staff and management at the nursery, Amelia would definitely not be developing as fantastically well as she is. We are grateful for their support, and this is a well and truly deserved award.”

Accepting the award, JJ and Andy Melbourne, setting owners, said: “Everyone in the team here really loves supporting Amelia in her learning and development – just as we do with all of the very special little people here, whatever their individual needs. Amelia is a fantastic personality, is very gifted and has such a brilliant and devoted mum and dad looking after her. It’s brilliant to see her flourishing.”

The Epilepsy Action Awards celebrate the UK’s epilepsy heroes. They recognise and celebrate those who have made a real difference to those with epilepsy in the UK. A total of 11 awards will be presented across the country during November, honouring the work and commitment of volunteers, fundraisers, schools, employers and healthcare professionals.
Philip Lee, chief executive at Epilepsy Action said: “We’re delighted to acknowledge the wonderful work of Willow Garden Day Nursery by giving them an Epilepsy Action award. This award is a deserved tribute for their efforts and successes.

“As a charity we rely on the support of people who are committed to improving the lives of people with epilepsy. These awards reflect the wonderful efforts of the recipients and mark our appreciation for their passion and commitment to the support of people with epilepsy.”

Epilepsy affects around one in every 100 people in the UK alone and 87 people are diagnosed with the condition every day. Each year, Epilepsy Action directly helps over two million people through a range of services, including its Epilepsy Action Helpline, freephone 0808 800 5050, support group network and award-winning website,

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