Dedicated Linda Smith leaves Rainbow Corner nursery in Southsea after 28 years
A DEDICATED nursery practitioner is leaving the job she loves after 28 years of helping to teach and care for the city’s children.
Linda Smith, 66, started as a trainee at Rainbow Corner Day Nursery in Southsea in 1993 before working her way up to deputy manager.
She said: ‘I’ve always loved children and working at the nursery was just something that was meant to be. I’ve got mixed emotions about leaving. It’s a very rewarding job but also tiring and I knew this was my time to go.’
Linda has said what she will miss most is the ‘daily interaction’ with the children. After almost three decades in the role, Linda has helped educate the second generation of children of the parents who she once cared for at the nursery.
She has also seen children she once looked after return to the nursery as trainee nursery practitioners under her tutelage .
Linda said: ‘I often get stopped in the supermarket by people who I used to care for or their parents. It’s nice to be remembered and to hear how they’ve got on.’
Nursery manager Lucy Whitehead wanted to highlight the ‘massive’ role Linda has played in the lives of the city’s children.
She said: ‘It’s incredible the number of children she has helped to both care for and teach and she has built a real close relationship with their families. She is such a reliable member of staff and has never had a day off sick, even throughout the pandemic.’
It’s a sentiment shared by parents.
Donna Humby said: ‘Thank you so much for looking after all three of our children – which began 13 years ago. Cameron, Lennox and Scarlett all flourished in your care whilst at nursery. We, along with the kids have fond memories of you, and we know they will never forget Linda from Rainbow Corner.’
Charlotte Mein added: ‘Amelia has not been with you for long but Linda has made a lasting impression on her. She always speaks highly of her and is clearly very fond of her. I know she will miss her greatly, along with everyone else who knows her.’
Linda is looking forward to having more time to relax and ‘enjoy a holiday in the sun’ but also intends to do some voluntary community work, including back at the nursery.
She said: ‘When the pandemic settles down I hope to go back in for a couple of hours a week to do some reading, dancing and singing with the children. The nursery has been such a big part of my life and is like a second family.’