A BUSINESSWOMAN who was inspired to set up a nursery to help children “achieve their potential and dreams” has won the Outstanding Contribution to the Earliest Years of Life Award.

Emilia Olkowska, the founder of Sherwood Green Nursery, said she was “delighted” to receive the award and thanked all those who voted for the much loved preschool.

Sponsored by Better Start Bradford, the award celebrates those who continue to have a hugely positive impact on the life of babies, young children and their families.

Emilia told the Telegraph & Argus: “I feel absolutely delighted to have won this award. It is an incredible award in recognition of all that we do for the community.

“We recognise that families and the wider community is struggling during these times so we are doing everything we can to give something back to our amazing community.

“I feel very proud and it is one of the main reasons I went into childcare. Nothing beats the feeling of helping young people achieve their potential and dreams.

“For us it is also about supporting parents and families so they can create the right environment for their child to be happy and succeed in their life.

“The nursery was opened in September 2017 and over the years its grown steadily and we have invested in some of the best staff and resources so we can provide excellent services and support. We got a good ofsted ranking and have a great and positive working environment and a very healthy and diverse occupancy.”

Throughout the pandemic, Emilia and her team have been giving food parcels and clothes to parents and the local community who need a helping hand.

The nursery is also setting up parent and child virtual tea parties to reduce isolation and mental stress as a result of Covid-19.

When asked what inspires her work, Emilia said: “I love what I do because I have a passion for childcare and getting the best foundation for children in the early years of their life. As a mother of two boys, I know the worries of a parent and that parents want the best for their children.

“I have put my life, soul and passion to do it the best way. We have invested in the best nutritious food, best resources and equipment, safeguarding systems and have a great working team.

“The growth of our Nursery children brings us as a nursery and their parents great joy to our lives. I can not ever imagine doing anything else.”

The business owner added: “I have have learnt that the children and families of Bradford are extremely kind and positive.

“I have seen compassion and kindness from all the families in our community and I am grateful that we have all worked as a team to combat any hardship in these difficult times. We provide wellbeing services to children and their families.

“We look forward to the safer times where we can all celebrate together with our staff and community. Thank you to everyone who has made this happen for us.”