Dawn Buckley - founder of Tippitoes playgroup for under fives in Ealing - inspires adoration from her patrons. Clearly (judging by our bulging inbox) her loyal base of customers love her.
Kim Doubai who has attended Tippitoes with her children for the past three years, praises Dawn for providing “a safe and fun environment for children and a friendly welcoming place where parents can relax and talk to others, during what can otherwise be an isolating time of early parenthood.”
Rachel Cleveley who has nominated Dawn in the ‘community champion’ category of our Pride awards concurs: “I have taken children to her classes for the last five years and she is brilliant. Dawn definitely deserves to be recognised. She is a very special member of our community.”
Cleveley and Doubai say that they struck gold when they discovered the extremely like-able Dawn, whose commitment to Tippitoes - the playgroup she started 15 years ago - is not in doubt.
“Dawn goes the extra mile on a daily basis, remembering hundreds of children's names, and their siblings who no longer attend,” reveals Rachel.
It’s clear that Buckley has a strong bond with the children. “They absolutely adore her,” says Kim. “Even the shyest child will run to Dawn.”
Buckley’s enthusiasm and energy seems boundless: “She is always there (often with gifts for the children that she has bought out of her own pocket), come rain or shine - no matter what else may be going on in her life. ”
Together Kim and Rachel paint a picture of a genuinely nice, refreshingly wholesome person who is quick to “provide parents and carers with much needed cups of tea and a sympathetic ear!”
Nonetheless the high level endorsement comes as quite a shock to Dawn. “I’m absolutely overwhelmed to be nominated for a Pride award,” the one woman juggernaut told the Ealing Gazette, before adding “I’m the one who feels lucky.”
Buckley is quick to count her blessings. “ I feel privileged that I am in a position to get to meet and greet so many lovely families from parents, nannies, child minders and grandparents,” she says in typically magnanimous fashion.
“It doesn’t feel like a job at all. I love my days - there are no two days alike. During some sessions I never know quite who to look at: the toddlers and pre-school children as they learn new actions or the parents whose faces are full of pride. It genuinely doesn’t feel like a job at all!”