Family of Sheffield day nursery owner raise over £2,600 for two charities and vow to continue her legacy

The family of a Sheffield day nursery owner who devoted her life to looking after children have raised over £2,600 for charity in her honour.

Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 5:38 pm

Julia Bryan passed away at the age of 68 in November last year after being diagnosed with skin cancer in May.

Originally from Surrey, Julia moved to Sheffield in 1980 and devoted her life to seeing hundreds of children in her local community grow up under her care.

Her son, Chris, said the family moved to the village of Worrall, just north of Hillsborough, when he was one year old, where she became actively involved with the local National Childbirth Trust chapter and a toddler group.

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Over £2,600 has been raised for local causes in Julia's memory. Picture by The Children's Hospital Charity.

Once her children had reached school age, Julia started childminding, and then set up the Coumes Spring Children’s Centre with her husband Roy in Oughtibridge in an empty building at the local school after discovering that there was no nursery in the area.

The centre is still operating today, some 26 years on, looking after around 40 children. It was part of Julia’s lifelong passion for caring for children, which even carried on during family holidays.

Chris said: “With her childminding and her own children, there were always children around the house! She also used to run a crèche at a folk festival in Whitby – her idea of a holiday was looking after more children. It was what she lived for; it was always about kids.”

“We chose to support Weston Park Cancer Charity because that’s where she was treated for three weeks at the end of her life, but it also seemed only fitting to pick a children’s cause.”

Julia's family moved to the village of Worrall, just north of Hillsborough when her son Chris was one year old, where she became actively involved with the local National Childbirth Trust chapter and a toddler group.

Chris added: “The nursery raised money for a snowflake at Sheffield Children’s Hospital so it seemed a nice connection to support The Children’s Hospital Charity too.

"I think I said at the start I’d like to raise £200 and now we have raised over £2,600 for charity. It is just fantastic, the kindness and generosity people have shown has been amazing.

“I think mum would be surprised and embarrassed by how much we’ve raised in her honour, but privately quite proud and pleased too."

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Julia and her family and friends at a New Year’s Eve event.

Money goes towards new helipad

He stated that the funds raised for The Children's Hospital Charity, which have totaled £1,344.55, will support the hospital's new helipad.

Currently, air ambulances land in Weston Park and trauma patients are then stretchered across a busy road under a police escort before entering the Emergency Department at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

The helipad will reduce the delays for patients who need urgent critical care from across South Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire.

Meanwhile, £1,266.83 has been raised for the Weston Park Cancer Charity.

Chris said his family have now taken the nursery on to continue his mum’s legacy.

Lucy Cain, community fundraising officer at The Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to Chris and his siblings for choosing to fundraise for The Children’s Hospital Charity.

"The amazing total raised in her memory will support the building of a new on-site Helipad at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, which will help save lives for years to come.”