Nursery wins award for getting parents to ditch their cars

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Children and staff at Footsteps Day Nursery in Portslade are celebrating after winning a national award for persuading parents and carers to leave their cars at home.

Two years ago, the nursery invested in a lot of storage space for scooters, bicycles and a waiting/sitting area for parents with buggies.

As a result, the amount of children who walked or scootered to nursery rose by 5% and the number of parents who drove their children to nursery decreased from 20% to 8%.

The success has led the nursery to be named as ‘Early Years Establishment of the Year’ in the National (STARS) School Travel Awards.

Councillor Gill Mitchell said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Footsteps Nursery and I’d like to congratulate everyone who has contributed towards this success.

“Walking, scooting or cycling to nursery, or parking away from nursery and walking the last 5 or 10 minutes, can contribute significantly to recommended activity levels, as well as helping to ease congestion around the city.”

Ross Butcher, National Chair of the awards organiser Modeshift, said: “Every year it is an honour to hear about the new and creative ways that schools and nurseries come up with to engage their communities in the promotion of sustainable travel.

“Over 3,200 schools nationally have signed up to Modeshift STARS so each of our STARS schools of the region has proven to be at the forefront of our collective effort to encourage more young people and their families to adopt healthy and sustainable forms of travel.”

The award was handed over to the nursery at a special event at the Houses of Parliament.

The STARS school travel awards scheme aims to encourage sustainable travel for journeys to and from nursery, and is supported by the Department for Transport.

Around 15,000 schools from 69 local authorities across England take part in the scheme.

Last year, before becoming National STARS Early Years Establishment of the Year, Footsteps Day Nursery won the title of South East STARS ‘Early Years Establishment of the Region’.

In April 2017, Footsteps Portslade achieved a Gold award from Modeshift for its work to encourage cycling, walking and other ways to travel sustainably.

Footsteps joined two other nurseries in Brighton and Hove – Footsteps Day Nursery in Hove and My First Friends Nursery in Westdene – who were the first nurseries to achieve the Modeshift STARS Gold award. All three nurseries were also nominated for the award for South East STARS Early Years Establishment of the Region.

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