Rosedene Easterside in Middlesbrough celebrated its tenth anniversary with a visit from two very special visitors – local ward councillor Craig Wright and Middlesbrough Football Club mascot, Roary the Lion.

Roary and Craig were given a special, socially distanced tour of the facility, which is located next to St. Thomas More School and enjoyed a slice of birthday cake.

Children currently attending the nursery also tested their skills trying to score goals against Roary.

Easterside was the fifth nursery in Rosedene’s portfolio to open, following the launch of sites in Marske, Saltburn and Redcar. It now has 11 childcare facilities across Tees Valley and North Yorkshire. Easterside was the first of three Rosedene nurseries in Middlesbrough.

The team at Easterside has built up strong community ties over the last decade with key figures in the community, including a partnership with health visitors, the local children’s centre, church groups and small businesses.

It also has had strong retention of staff since it opened, with its manager Gemma being part of the Rosedene family for more than 16 years, and many staff members having been recruited at student level and progressing into more senior roles.

Alice McCullagh, director at Rosedene, said: “It was fantastic to welcome Craig and Roary to the Rosedene Easterside 10th birthday celebrations. It is vital to us, even during such unprecedented times, that the nursery is at the heart of the community, even though we had planned to host a huge celebration for all families, the children were delighted by the visit from our two special guests today.

“During the last decade, we’ve looked after some amazing local children, supported over 1000 families and our team love to see our returning parents, with whom they’ve built incredible relationships with over the years.

“Having a reliable, established childcare provider is essential for parents, especially when life is so uncertain. Parents need to be confident that they can go to work, and their children will be cared for by someone they trust. We look forward to providing that service at Easterside for the next decade and beyond.”

Craig Wright, councillor for Ladgate Ward, said: “Happy birthday Rosedene Easterside! Throughout the pandemic, Rosedene has been a vital support to the community and its fantastic to work with a brilliant nursery which puts children first and has community at its heart.”