History of Moon River

Moon River is a family run Nursery, which is owned by Lesley Pritchard (Spence).

All about Lesley:

I came to Bristol as a shy 18yr old to embark on my State Registered Nurse training (SRN) at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, very nervous and extremely homesick and often wondering what on earth I had let myself in for!

Initially, one of the biggest challenges was understanding the patients as I couldn’t understand their broad Bristolian accents and likewise they couldn’t understand my very broad Lancashire accent!! Once the temporary language barrier had been overcome life became easier as I settled into my new life and wonderful career as a student nurse. I met so many wonderful patients who were inspirational to me as I developed from a shy student to a competent trained nurse.

Leaving the BRI was difficult as I had so many great experiences there. My next adventure was to go to Southmead to do my midwifery training to embark on yet another wonderful experience.

It soon became apparent when looking to a future of having my own family that the gruelling shifts of working as a midwife would not work with bringing up a young family so I applied and was accepted to do the Health Visiting training. It was whilst doing this training that I met the most wonderful mentor, I owe everything to her as she taught me everything a text book couldn’t about how to care for people individually and holistically and how to really make a difference to some people’s lives.

Almost ten years after qualifying as a nurse I embarked on a Nursing degree as I had aspirations to teach. This led on to a Post Graduate Diploma in Higher Education and then the promise to myself to never do any more serious studying after that!

My Health Visiting career spanned over almost 32 years, it was the most privileged job I had ever had, full of joy, and sadness, as I shared the experiences of all my families and had the pleasure of seeing people in their own homes. The families I visited  kept saying there wasn’t enough childcare in the area and so when the opportunity arose for the perfect venue for a children’s day nursery in the area where I was working I decided to open a nursery!

After 3 years of overcoming many many obstacles Moon River Nursery eventually opened its doors in 2017 and has been going from strength to strength ever since. I have welcomed many of the families who I visited as a Health Visitor who entrusted their little ones with us. For me it has meant I can carry on nurturing families (and staff) who need it whilst enjoying the busy life of the nursery and being surrounded by lovely children, what a wonderful change to make for my last Job!