'If you have a passion, run with it': Nursery boss opens third site

Andrew and Shane Didwell, owners of Treetops Nursery at Hethersett VC Primary School, cutting the ri

Andrew and Shane Didwell, owners of Treetops Nursery at Hethersett VC Primary School, cutting the ribbon on the opening day. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

The boss of a trio of nurseries has said adopting his own kids allowed him to realise his dream.

Andrew Didwell, 30, from Mulbarton, runs Treetops Nursery for two to five-years-olds in Easton and Mulbarton, and recently opened a new base for the same age group at Hethersett Primary School. 

The newly opened Treetops Nursery at Hethersett VC Primary School. Picture: Danielle Booden

The newly opened Treetops Nursery at Hethersett VC Primary School. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

And despite only opening on September 20, the new nursery in Queen’s Road is already 50pc full with 33 toddlers signed up. 

Mr Didwell, who grew up and studied in Norwich, said: “If you have a passion for something, run with it and don’t stop. If you put your heart into something there will be a positive outcome.” 

The dad did his first volunteering experience in a nursery in his late teens and embarked into the industry by completing a degree in early childhood studies at the University of East Anglia. 

One of the children from the brand new Treetops Nursery, at Hethersett VC Primary School, playing in

One of the children from the brand new Treetops Nursery, at Hethersett VC Primary School, playing in the sand pit. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden


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He opened the first Treetops nursery in Mulbarton in January 2018 and the second one in Easton in January 2020, which look after 40 and 45 children, respectively.

Mr Didwell worked in numerous nurseries across Norwich as a practitioner and in managerial roles before opening his business, which he now runs with his husband Shane, 34, who he married in October 2019.

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The couple adopted a two-year-old and four-year-old boy a year after getting married and this has been the driver for the development of the nurseries.

Sarah Ready, nursery practitioner, Kerry Cator, supervisor, Andrew Didwell, part owner, Shane Didwel

Sarah Ready, nursery practitioner, Kerry Cator, supervisor, Andrew Didwell, part owner, Shane Didwell, part owner, Natasha Kerr, apprentice practitioner, Elizabeth, apprentice practitioner, and Eleanor Lane, nursery practitioner at the new Treetops Nursery at Hethersett VC Primary School. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

The boss said being a dad has taught him and his staff about understanding how to support children better who have gone through traumatic experiences.

Mr Didwell described his adopted children as "incredible inspirations" and added: "Becoming a parent puts everything into perspective. It feels like we have had them all their lives."

In terms of how he does business and lives his life, he added: "I wear my heart on my sleeve."

He was passionate about including education in all aspects of his nurseries because it was "paramount".

One of the children from the brand new Treetops Nursery, at Hethersett VC Primary School, doing some

One of the children from the brand new Treetops Nursery, at Hethersett VC Primary School, doing some drawing. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

The nursery owner added the quality childcare settings helped shape youngster's social and emotional wellbeing in the first few years of primary school.

Children from the brand new Treetops Nursery, at Hethersett VC Primary School, playing with dinosaur

Children from the brand new Treetops Nursery, at Hethersett VC Primary School, playing with dinosaurs. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Mr Didwell said he wanted to open potentially two more sites adding: "Everything happens for a reason."

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