THE special personalty of a Lower Whitley nursery director has made her a finalist in the National Nursery Recognition Awards.

Leanne Wilson, director of Evolution Childcare- The Stables, is in the final five of the Personality of the Year category, beating more than 1,000 entries.

The award celebrates the personalities within nurseries that make it a more enjoyable experience for children.

Leanne Wilson said: "I’m truly honoured to have at least been nominated for the award and was honestly stuck for words when my colleague told me about it.

"I’m just a plain Jane so did not even think I was thought about so highly by my team.

"Being their manager too has really made me think how much I am lucky to be respected by my group, my family as we call ourselves, as it's difficult to get the balance right normally.

"Working with Evolution Childcare since 2004, I think I have developed in confidence so much and have made some lovely relationships with children and parents and colleagues over the years but to have been recognised for my personality is overwhelming.

"Whether I win this award or not, I have definitely had a new outlook of me as a person and can’t thank the people enough.

"I am so motivated by my team and by the responses we receive as the children achieve new things or they come in to nursery and just enjoy being here no matter what’s in store."

The winners of the National Nursery Recognition Awards will be decided by a panel of judges and a public vote through

Leanne will have to wait until January to find out the results.