A NURSERY manager whose establishment has quadrupled in size since it was set-up three years ago with a Princes Trust loan has received national recognition.

Laura Leigh Wayman, aged 27, attended a star-studded ceremony in London where she was a finalist in the Princes Trust Celebrate Success Awards’ Young Ambassador of the Year category.

Miss Wayman, opened Child’s Play Private Nursery, in Ferryhill, when she was just 23 after finding herself unemployed and approaching the Princes Trust for help with setting up a business.

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She completed the youth charity’s Enterprise Course, in Durham, received a £4,000 business loan from them, a business mentor and opened the nursery on Lambton Road, in January 2013, with just four children and one staff member.

Three years later, the nursery now has 85 children on its register, 14 staff members and was in the top ten ‘most recommended’ list for the North-East for two years running.

The establishment was also ‘highly commended’ in the 2015 Nursery World Awards.

Despite having had her first baby, George William Davies, eight weeks ago, Miss Wayman still works at the nursery for between 20 and 30 hours a week.

She said it was “humbling” to be nominated for the national award and to attend the ceremony in London, where she met Prince Charles – the charity’s leader.

Miss Wayman, who is originally from Ferryhill but now lives in Bowburn, regularly speaks on behalf of the Princes Trust at black tie events and has previously represented the initiative in Parliament.

She delivers monthly talks during the charity’s enterprise courses about her successes and has been invited to the Princes Trust’s 40th anniversary celebrations in London.

She said: “I don’t see what I do as anything outstanding, it is just something I have enjoyed doing.

“To be recognised is really humbling. The awards ceremony was amazing but felt very surreal.

“I had experience of managing nurseries and I had already found the site in Ferryhill but I had never run a business before so The Princes Trust helped me tie up my business plan.

“I paid off the loan 18 months early.”

Miss Wayman also praised her team of staff who work at the nursery for their hard work and commitment to the business and her partner Gareth Davies for his support.