Just before Christmas, local businesswoman Alison Delaney proved there’s no better time to engage in the joy of giving. The award-winning author, motivational speaker, and founder of Little Bird, paid a visit to three YMCA nurseries in Birmingham on Monday 18 December to gift each child a copy of her book, which builds self belief, confidence and resilience in children.
This week’s visits saw Alison visit around 150 children at the three regional YMCA Birmingham nurseries: Billy Bear’s Nursery in Solihull; Kingstanding’s Sunshine Nursery; and Hand in Hand Nursery in Erdington. Just in time for Christmas and on the back of her recent award win for ‘Outstanding People Development’ at the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce Awards, Alison met the young children and personally delivered their own copies of ‘Little Chick Has Lunch On The Moon’.
YMCA Birmingham runs three Ofsted registered day nurseries, each offering the best quality childcare to meet the individual needs of every child. What’s more, as part of the YMCA Birmingham, the nurseries are also charities and social enterprises, meaning that the money they make is filtered back into the system. This means that the children attending not only receive a great education, but that funds generated help the YMCA to deliver its youth and community services, including community service, family work, health and well-being, training & education, and support & advice.
Speaking about her decision to work with the YMCA on this, Alison commented:
“I wholeheartedly believe in and support the work done by YMCA Birmingham, and we share the same belief that a happy, healthy life begins with a strong foundation in our formative years. Little Bird was set up to equip children with the tools and the stability to succeed as adults, and provide an emotional education that complements formal education. YMCA Birmingham is the perfect partner to Little Bird for this and I am so excited to be able to share my book with all the wonderful Little Chicks that it looks after.”
This is not the first time that Alison’s kindness has seen her give the gift of literacy; the Little Bird project’s ethos specifies that for each copy of the book that is bought, another copy is gifted to a less-fortunate child somewhere else in the world. This model was successfully piloted in South Africa, as Alison and her team, visited the country. Alongside them, 1,000 books made the 10,000-mile journey across the globe, each complete with an illustrated note of hope from children in the UK. The books were then hand-delivered by Alison to pupils at Mitchell’s Plain Primary School, Nooitgedacht Primary School, and Rufane Donkin Primary School.
Closer to home, last Christmas also saw Alison gift books to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, recruiting the help of special guest Santa Claus, and writing personalised messages to the children and their families.
“It is important that at times like these, when we all get wrapped up in the mania of Christmas, that we take a step back to get some perspective: at a time when we’re lucky enough to be able to treat each other to gifts, I feel it’s an equally important time to look beyond that and see what more we can do for each other, and for our fellow humans who might not be so lucky. Whether it’s a little or a lot, I hope helping where we can takes the top spot on our Christmas lists this year,” Alison concluded.