The Mayor of Kensington and Chelsea, Cllr David Lindsay, officially opened Grenfell Early Years Nursery at an event attended by nursery staff, Council officers and project architects. The nursery, which was located in Grenfell Tower for 30 years, has been without a permanent home since the fire in June 2017. The event precedes a community event planned for later in the summer.
The nursery moved to the Ilys Booker Centre shortly after the fire but vacated the building in 2021 so that the centre could be expanded and refurbished to accommodate the numbers of children the nursery was intended for. Since 2021 it resided at Oxford Gardens Primary School.
The Council invested over £2m, appointing Helix to refurbish and extend the building to accommodate the nursery. This work has included improved indoor and outdoor spaces and a roof terrace.
The nursery delivers full and part time early education through play for children aged between one and three years old. It is part of the Lancaster West Children’s Community Network, a community- based organisation which aims to support all of its users irrespective of their circumstances with childcare and family support.
Cllr Catherine Faulks, Lead Member for Family and Children’s Services, said:
“I’d like to pay tribute to all the families and members of the community who have got us to where we are today, with Grenfell Early Years Nursery back in the Lancaster West Estate. This has been an important and sensitive process, and I’m so pleased that local families are happy with the new space. I know the committed and compassionate staff will continue to bring care and joy to the lives of children for generations to come.”
Dee Dainton, Management Committee Member for Grenfell Early Years Nursery, said:
“The opening of this new space is an occasion of mixed emotions. The wonderful, up-to-date, environmentally friendly building offers additional space to meet parents’ childcare needs – but we will not forget the well-loved and remembered children and members of this community who lost their lives in the Grenfell tragedy. We hope this building will be a worthy tribute to them.”
Nic Davies, Group Chief Executive Officer at Helix added:
“It was wonderful to see the Grenfell Early Years Nursery officially open. It is a much loved and needed resource to local people. Our team have had a unique opportunity to create a fantastic place for local children to grow and develop for many more years to come.”