A CHILDMINDER from Wincham has been thrown a surprise retirement party with some of the children she looked after over her 25-year career.

This weekend, Helen Hart celebrated her retirement from her career as a childminder for over 60 kids from Wincham and the surrounding areas.

She said: “It was such a lovely surprise. I was shocked to see them all when I arrived at the community centre. I thought I was just going out for lunch! Seeing all the children, past and present, was lovely. I’ve recieved so many bunches of flowers my living room is like a florist now!”

The 67-year-old was thrown a party at the Wincham Community Centre on Saturday March 3, which was attended by most of the children she had cared for.

Originally from Knutsford, she moved to Pickmere Lane in 1986 and her childminding career began in 1992 when her granddaughter Laura was born.

Known fondly by the 63 children she cared for as ‘Nana Helen’, she would to do all sorts of activities with the children like picnics and walks in the park.

The party was organised by Jill Nolan, whose 25-year-old daughter Ruth Vickers had been cared for by Helen for 13years, with some of Helen’s family, to show their appreciation and love for the ‘childminding legend’ for parents in Wincham.

In her last OFSTED report, Helen proudly received the highest possible rating of outstanding for the care she gave to children.

Jill said: “She was far more than just a carer and treated each of the children as if they were her own.

“She is just a very special lady to so many parents and children across the village. This celebration was something to really show Helen that the community see her as a real childminding legend that has helped so many parents balance all their commitments over the last 25 years.”