A COMMUNITY-driven nursery and child-care centre has celebrated its fifth birthday in style by inviting families for a day of fun.

Zizu’s Day Care and Learning Centre, near Captain Cook’s Square in Middlesbrough, arranged a fun day to celebrate five years in business, including story sessions, face-painting, dancing, a bouncy castle, children’s yoga, and even an ice-cream van.

Zizu’s owes its name to founder Maaz Rahman’s son Zain, whose childhood nickname was Zizu. It is also the name of a friendly little zebra, who has lots of animal friends, who appear on a mural on the wall of the nursery.

Samra Farhat, whose daughter Aleena has attended Zizu’s since it opened, said: “The staff at Zizu’s are really friendly. Aleena was only 13 months old when she started coming, and she was always a shy girl, but she settled in straight away.

“It’s been amazing, we’ve had such a great experience. It’s such a good environment, so nurturing for kids, I would recommend it to any other parent. It’s lovely to celebrate their birthday with them today.”

More than 150 children and parents took part in the celebrations, with catering provided by Deja Street Food.

As well as many other activities, they got the chance to listen to a story in the nursery garden read by local author, Kelly Taylor, and take part in child-friendly yoga sessions led by instructor Karine Richardson, from Yoga 4 All.

Nursery operations director, Nicola Knight, said: “We’re feeling absolutely fantastic. It’s been a great turn-out today, the girls have worked really hard, the nursery looks amazing, and I’m just so glad everyone’s enjoying it.

“I’d like to thank everyone who’s come down to be a part of this day.”

Nursery founder, Maaz Rahman, said: “It’s been wonderful to see so many people here – many of them were here on the first day we opened five years ago.

“This is an incredible milestone, and it’s lovely to see so many of the children again. They’ve grown up so fast and developed into such smart young people, which is what we hoped the nursery would do right from the beginning.

“It’s brilliant that so many local businesses are also part of the day – this is what it’s all about: collaborating with the community, and highlighting what a great place Middlesbrough is to live and work.

“The team have done a phenomenal job – so here’s to another five years, and beyond!”

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