Tears were shed on 5 December at Shaw’s Jellytots Playgroup when a bench was unveiled in memory of assistant supervisor Debbie Dean, a year and a day after she died from an aggressive melanoma.
Debbie, pictured, was a member of a close knit and long serving staff team and worked in the playgroup for 15 years.
The bench located in the covered play area next to the playgroup in the grounds of Brook Field Primary School was paid for by a sponsored parachute jump undertaken by Debbie’s children Steven and Laura Dean, who both attended Jellytots as under 5s.
Playgroup manager Jan John said: “We all miss Debbie so much; as a team we can almost read each other’s minds and not having Debbie with us is very strange. She loved reading to the children and being outdoors with them. The bench will remind us over coming years what a lovely person she was.”
Laura said she was pleased to have done the parachute jump but it won’t become a hobby. “The bench is a perfect tribute to mum.”
Steven added: “All the playgroup staff came along to Wanborough airfield to watch us come down; I’d like to have another go.”
They raised £1,000 including an £82 employee contribution from Nationwide where Laura works.
The balance of the money was spent on a bird table for the playgroup garden and a donation was made to Prospect Hospice.
Pictured: Former Jellytots playgroup children with Steven and Laura Dean, centre, and Becky Gammon from Prospect Hospice and staff, rear from left, Becky Bartlett, Chris Hunt, Jan John, Jo Scott, Nikki Flay