A ‘CARING’ woman who provides a ‘homely, safe and encouraging place for children’ at a Worcester academy has been nominated for the Unsung Hero Award in the Worcestershire Education Awards.

Vanessa Hancock, who runs the wrap-around care at Oasis Academy in Warndon, has been at the school since 2015 with a 16-year career in education behind her.

Mrs Hancock, 57, and her team run the morning breakfast club for pupils and the after-school care in the evenings.

Speaking about her nomination, she said: “It is really nice that someone has nominated me for an award but I have to say it really is a team effort.

“I have got some wonderful people working with me every day who really do make all the difference in running the wrap-around care.

“In the mornings when the kids get dropped off we make them breakfast and make sure they are ready to start the day, and after school we cook them a meal and keep them busy with group activities and try to encourage them to be active, try new things and eat a good meal.”

With an age range between three and 11 years old, Mrs Hancock and her team have to make sure their activities are suitable for all ages, meaning they have to have a diverse range of options for the pupils to enjoy.

She added: “We do group games and dancing, they love dancing, and when the weather is nicer we take them out to see the alpacas which we have on-site. We also have themed days regularly so in a few days we will be having a Valentine’s Day themed dance and a while ago we had a Chinese New Year theme for our activities.

“It is really rewarding because giving children the right start to the day as well as the right start to education really does go a long way to influencing their later lives.”