A Lisburn woman has shown she is a superstar nanny after she was named as the Grandmother of the Year.
Frances Quinn picked up the honour at the The Ni4kids Family Awards which recognise and celebrate the individuals and organisations from across Northern Ireland who go to the moon and back for families with young children.
The totally devoted ‘treasured Nanny’ and her family were invited to attend the gala ceremony on Friday, July 7 at Belfast City Hall.
Nanny Frances, as she is known, is nanny to six very much-loved grandchildren, who range in age from six to 17 years.
Frances left her job to be the sole childcarer for her eldest grandchild when she was born, and has continued to look after each and every one of her grandchildren ever since.
The judging panel loved theway this grandmother uses her garden gnomes to encourage positive habits in her grandchildren by leaving secret notes with them for the children to discover.
‘Treasured Nanny’ is the phrase Margaret Hull used to describe her mum Frances, Margaret said: “Without her we simply would not be where we are today. She gives her all and asks for nothing in return. I’m truly blessed to have her as my mum.” Frances told the Ulster Star that she had absolutely no idea that she had been put forward for the award.
She said: “I was really shocked when I found out I had been nominated, my daughter had nominated me in January but did not tell me. Then six weeks ago I was told I had made the list of finalists, we travelled to the awards last week. I couldn’t believe it, I started to cry and brought two of my grandchildren up to accept the award from Peter Corry. I wanted to thank all my family for the support they gave me.”
Despite winning this award, Frances believes that there are many grandmothers out there who are deserving of awards for what they do for their grandchildren.
Frances added: “There are lots of grandmothers out there who are as deserving of this award as I am. I think they are just as worthy as being named grandmother of the year and they all deserve awards.”
And her advice to prospective grand parents? “Treasure every minute because they don’t stay small for long and they grow up really fast.”
Speaking about the inspiration behind the event, Nadia Duncan, editor at Ni4kids said: “Six years ago we created this event in honour of all the amazing stars across Northern Ireland who put families with young children first.
“This event is our opportunity to say thank you and beam a spotlight on those who have made huge sacrifices and gone to great lengths to help their own families; shown the ultimate dedication to their jobs in helping children, demonstrated great courage in the face of adversity and the most difficult of circumstances – or always shown up to help those in need with advice and support.
“We thought a space-theme was appropriate this year to reflect the room full of family stars we have with us today.”