Flowers, cards and smiles all round as residents of The Shrubbery Nursing Home enjoyed a surprise Valentine’s visit from children at local nursery, Little Trinity in Kidderminster.

Nursery Manager, Miss Gaynor Carter, said: “We always like to celebrate Valentine’s Day and this year we’ve been focusing on others and the world outside. Visiting the residents at The Shrubbery was lovely, they were all so welcoming and the children thoroughly enjoyed the experience of meeting new people.”

Valentine’s Day, also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated annually on February 14. Originating as a Western Christian feast day honouring one or two early saints named Valentinus, Valentine’s Day is recognized as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance in many regions around the world, although it is not a public holiday in any country.

Shrubbery resident Dennis Conway said that the visit had been fantastic and a delight to see all the children laughing and smiling and thanked the nursery.

The nursery encourages their youngest children from the age of 2-years to join in and take part in a range of creative play, with their Valentine’s activity able to be enjoyed by all. Enjoying a nice cuppa, Little Trinity staff also chatted with representatives from KEMP Hospice who were at the nursing home as part of their ‘Cuppa for KEMP’ campaign.

Miss Carter added: “The children had a wonderful time creating and painting their Valentine cards and then the sheer delight on their faces as they gave their flowers and cards to the residents.

“Lots of smiles and giggles before we said goodbye to everyone and began our short journey back to the nursery. It will be interesting to see what we do next year!”

Little Trinity Nursery in Kidderminster thoroughly enjoyed their Chinese New Year celebrations tasting traditional foods and taking part in a Dragon Dance on Tuesday 5th February.

Nursery Manager, Miss Gaynor Carter, said: “We always try to incorporate celebrations and festivals from a wide range of cultures so that the children can gain an appreciation and understanding of the many traditions and people of the world.”

Incorporating and promoting Understanding the World as part of EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) offers Little Trinity Nursery children numerous opportunities to discuss and participate in a variety of traditions and experiences that they may not experience in their home life.

Located within the grounds of Holy Trinity School on the Birmingham Road, the children from the age of 2-years all joined in trying a selection of Chinese foods.

Added Miss Carter: “Celebrating Chinese New Year is always fun with the children really enjoying their food tasting at morning snack time and our 2 and 3-year-old children in the Green Caterpillar and Yellow Bumble-Bee classes thoroughly enjoying making their very own dragon for their Dragon Dance in PE. Lots of fun was had by us all.”

Specialist multi temperature supply chain operator and responsible family business Oakland International has appointed Bob Richards to the post of General Manager at its Redditch facility.

Previously holding senior and director roles at several blue-chip organisations including PHS, Bidvest Logistics, Christian Salvesen, TDG, Palletways and David Hathaway Transport, Bob has 30 years of management experience and a proven track record in continual improvement, man-management and process management.

Commenting he said: “I’m really excited about joining Oakland International which is a great business with real growth potential in a challenging market place. Seeing the business in peak trading will assist me as I look at the structure, working patterns and the team and help formulate and support the design of the business strategy going forward.”

A multi-award winner, Oakland International is a BRC accredited (for storage and distribution) business and a multi temperature distribution specialist providing contract packing, storage, picking, tempering and supports retail, convenience, discount, wholesale and food service markets via hubs and facilities in the UK, Ireland and an overseas partner in Spain.

Oakland International Managing Director, Shaun Foley, said: “I am delighted to welcome Bob to the team. His knowledge and extensive sector experience will be a significant asset to our Redditch operations.”

The latest recruit at a Kidderminster school may be a little shorter than most pupils, and certainly more-hairy, but has already made a big impact on both pupils and staff.

School dog ‘Fern’ joined Holy Trinity School and Sixth Form Centre at the start of this academic year at the tender age of 3-months. Over the last 4-months she has been acclimatising to her new environment and getting to know her new friends, and although still only a puppy her natural ability to interact with children from 5-years to sixth formers has meant that she has very quickly adapted to being in school and loving the attention she receives.

Headteacher, Mrs Pamela Leek-Wright stated: “There has been an overwhelmingly positive response from all members of the school community and already the impact of having Fern in school is tangible. Regardless of age, there seems to be a need that can be fulfilled by interacting with Fern, who seems to be having a powerful impact on the emotional well-being within school.”

Although a school dog, Fern is very much part of a family and belongs to Mrs Leek-Wright, who had the idea of introducing a dog into school in the light of increasing concerns over mental health and the levels of stress that young people encounter in the modern-day education system. It has taken two years of planning, research and seeking advice to get to the reality of having a dog in school.

Added Mrs Leek-Wright: “Having enjoyed her first term, Fern is now very familiar with the sights, sounds and smells of her ‘work place’ and having settled exceptionally well she is now at an age to concentrate on specific training with her Dog Trainer so that she can start to join in classes over the coming term.”

Once fully trained, Fern will be used to support the school’s well-being programme and working alongside the school counsellor, will be a regular visitor to the school’s libraries, encouraging pupils to read to her, promoting confidence and independence in a skill that underpins all learning.

Receiving a letter personally addressed to one of their pupils, Little Trinity Nursery duly passed it on to 3-year old Alba Edwards parents when they came to collect her that day.

To everyone’s delight and surprise the letter was from a local lady who’d received Alba’s Christmas card as part of Kidderminster Library’s Christmas Card Appeal.

Nursery Manager, Miss Gaynor Carter, said: “Every year the children take part creating personal Christmas cards which are then distributed by Kidderminster Library to the elderly and housebound in the local community.

“It was such a lovely surprise for Alba to receive a ‘thank you’ message for what is, for all of us, a very special activity in our nursery calendar and such a good way to reach out to the housebound and elderly in our community, whilst helping to teach the children to think of others.”

Alba’s parents, Mark Edwards and Katie Stone, commented on how thoughtful and how delighted they were that Alba had received a letter of thanks and that they were going to put it in her special memory box so that she could see it when she’s older.

Celebrating their fifth birthday later this year, Little Trinity Nursery, based within the grounds of Holy Trinity School and Sixth Form Centre on the Birmingham Road, caters for pre-school childcare from 2 years of age.

Family business, multi temperature supply chain and logistics specialist, Oakland International, has appointed Eimear Scolard as the company’s new Technical Team Lead.

Tasked with heading their successful Distress Load Team, Eimear will oversee inspections, co-ordinating the team from initial contact through to load completion. With full HACCP training and a quality assurance background, trained in traceability and all aspects of food safety having previously worked at Oakland, Eimear’s prior fast-paced retail experience as an assistant manager and team leader meant she was ideally placed to re-join the company’s rapidly expanding Distress Loads Team.

Eimear commented: “It feels great to be back, with the attraction being the ability to grow a department in a role I really enjoy. We are already taking on new jobs, so it’s a very exciting time for us, and with the unpredictable nature of distress load work, we never know what’s coming in, so we need to respond immediately to incidents and contaminated loads of any nature.”

Oakland International’s pioneering Distress Load Management service is an innovative solution whereby food losses for customers, loss adjusters and hauliers on distressed loads are reduced significantly whilst offering additional environmental customer benefits. A distressed load is defined by the integrity of food safety being potentially compromised such as when pallets move in transit, incorrect temperature or clandestine infiltration. Oakland is developing an inspector training program which specialises in all aspects of food safety and clandestine infiltration.

Overseeing all inspections, as lead manager Eimear will be customer focused. Originally from Ireland, Eimear moved to the UK 2 years ago.

Added Eimear: “I have a great deal of pride in my work which reflects itself in many ways from how we work as a team to the standards of product going out the door, with my key skill being accuracy, crucial given the work we do. If you have a load issue and you’re wondering ‘is that something Oakland can deal with?’ the answer is most likely yes! It’s always worth picking up the phone and giving us a call!

“Working with distress loads can be challenging but it can also be very satisfying and rewarding when a customer needs help and within 24-hours we have sorted their issue and saved stock and have them back on the road and ready once again for delivery. I’m loving living in England and I have a wonderful career, so it’s likely I’ll never leave!”

A multi-award winner and a BRC double A accredited and EHO approved multi temperature distribution business, Oakland International specialises in contract packing, storage, picking, tempering, distribution and brand development support for to the retail, convenience, discount, wholesale and food service markets via hubs and facilities in the UK, Ireland and an overseas partner in Spain.

Little Trinity Nursery in Kidderminster invited parents and staff to donate their Christmas card money in support of KEMP Hospice’s annual ‘Light Up A Life’ campaign.

Nursery Manager, Miss Gaynor Carter, said: “Our families as always were very generous and donated their Christmas card money and helped to reduce the number of Christmas cards needing to be recycled after Christmas. Thanks to everyone’s generosity and support we have managed to raise £148 to date.”

KEMP’s ‘Light up a Life’ as an annual campaign in which people can remember loved ones in a very special way during the festive season. People are invited to write a message or special memory to a loved one on a ‘Light up a Life’ Tag and hang their tag on one of KEMP’s ‘Light up a Life’ Christmas Trees.

Added Gaynor: “People have been extremely generous, and some parents have written Christmas wishes to other families and some of our children have also written their names on their Christmas tags independently.

“It’s been a huge success and helped to raise funds for such a worthwhile local charity!”

Children at Little Trinity Nursery in Kidderminster took to the stage to perform this year’s jingly Christmas Concert for their families.

Joining Santa and his Reindeer on the stage were the Christmas Puddings, Glittery Baubles, Snowflakes, Mince Pies, Twinkly Lights, Pretty Angels, Shining Stars, Snowmen and many Elves! With much excitement the hall filled with Christmas wonder as the Nursery’s 61 children, ranging from as young as 2-years through to 4-years of age, paraded on to the stage to perform and sing their Christmas tale of snow, presents, Santa and the joy of giving.

Nursery Manager, Miss Gaynor Carter, said: “The children have been practicing their songs for many weeks as part of our usual class-time, and just before the big day, we took them to the stage to rehearse just as if their families were watching them.

“They all love dressing up and performing for others and showing their families and friends what they can do, so it’s a fantastic opportunity to develop their self-confidence and social skills, with this year welcoming to the stage many reindeer and elves and an appearance from of course from Santa!”

In front of parents and family members the children sang and acted out their favourite Christmas songs.

Miss Carter added: “The concert was wonderful, and many of our children had speaking parts so they needed to remember their lines.

“Not only was it lots of fun, it was wonderful to see the children grow in confidence, standing on the stage in front of a big audience, and they did brilliantly!”

Donning hats, gloves, scarves and warm coats and ready to meet Santa, the children of Little Trinity Nursery in Kidderminster with giggles of delight set off for a magical Christmas adventure on the Severn Valley Railway.

Nursery manager, Miss Gaynor Carter, said: “Christmas is a magical time for children, and trains are quite the favourite, so to be able to enjoy a train journey and meet Santa at the same time was a fantastic opportunity and one not to be missed!”

The children at Little Trinity, from 2-years and upwards, take regular learning walks with their outside experiences then used in creative play and craft activities back in the classroom. As the nursery is located so close to the Severn Valley Railway it was an ideal opportunity to use their trip as a learning walk to the train station before embarking on their festive return journey to Highley from Kidderminster.

Miss Carter added: “The children had a lovely time with their friends, with lots of happy chatter helping to encourage their developing communication skills as they talked about road safety and our need to be careful as we walked to and from the station, as well as what they saw through the window of the train as we went along.

“The train ride alone created lots of excitement and giggles amongst the children but then when they realised they were meeting Santa and getting a present too, well it was hard to contain their excitement and squeals of delight, it was simply wonderful and a fantastic and fun Christmas adventure.”

Reconditioning migrant affected loads for more than 15 years, multi temperature supply chain, distribution and logistics specialist Oakland International has seen a significant increase in requests to deal with contaminated loads in recent months.

Oakland Director, Robert Hardy, commented: “Whatever form of Brexit we end up with the safe movement of goods will still need to continue. All parties in the food supply chain from producers and manufacturers, hauliers, importers and retailers, they all have legal responsibilities under regulation EC178/2002 to ensure our food safety, with heavy penalties applied if these regulations are breached.”

Oakland’s HACCP accredited Distress Load Management (DLM) service minimises losses and food waste for customers, loss adjusters and hauliers on distressed loads due to movement during transit, theft or stowaway incursion. More than 5,000 trucks a day arrive in the UK from continental Europe and due to the sheer volume of traffic Border Force is only able to check around 10% of inbound trailers. During the last 12 months they have detected some 56,000 migrant attempts to gain illegal entry to the UK. Vehicles are regularly sent to Oakland when a risk to food safety has been detected, with load recovery and assessment undertaken same day or the following day in most cases.

Added Robert: “Oakland’s accredited DLM service has built a strong reputation trusted by both brands and insurers and consistently operates a recovery level of 85% of product, with nothing sent to landfill. Any residual food waste is redirected to nominated anaerobic digestion plant centres or recycling centres and used for renewable energy.

“A 5-point check includes, swab tests, thermal imaging and CO2 detection, and although we’re not particularly looking for stowaways, we will detect any contamination if this is the case. Our customers rely on us to protect their supply chain with clean cargo given a HACCP certificate of compliance to be presented on delivery, and contaminated cargo quarantined. Our thorough vehicle check and swift turnaround is making many of our customers consider making it a mandatory process for all inbound cargo.”

Free advice is available via or by calling their helpline on 0044 (0) 333 014 2850. A multi-award winner, Oakland is BRC double A accredited and EHO approved and as a multi temperature distribution business they specialise in contract packing, storage, picking, tempering and support retail, convenience, discount, wholesale and food service markets via hubs and facilities in the UK, Ireland and an overseas partner in Spain.