Our Wonderful Staff

Mel Suttill, Playgroup Leader
HNC Advanced Practice in Working with Children and Families Level 4

I became Panda Playgroup Leader in September 2013 having worked with children since 1999 within supervisory or leadership positions. I have always built up excellent relationships with parents and carers using my friendly approach and professionalism, and more importantly, gaining brilliant friendships with the children. They can enjoy playing, fun and games and build up happy memories as they grow and learn. I enjoy assisting the children through their play and gain so much pleasure in watching them overcome life's little hurdles and enjoy a sense of achievement.


Sharron Little, Tiny Tots and Sticky Mitts Leader 
Paediatric First Aid Certificate, Basic Food Hygiene, Child Protection Level 1, Disability Equality Level 1

After 15 years working in law, I brought my baby daughter to a Panda Baby Session and have been hooked ever since. I was on the committee for a number of years, serving as Treasurer and dealing with Admissions. When my daughter started at school, I filled in at Sticky Mitts one morning a week and now run all three stay and play sessions at the Methodist Church Hall. I also help out at Panda Playgroup.


Melanie McCarthy, Deputy Leader, Panda Playgroup
Certificate in Pre-School Practice Level 3  / Nursery Nurse 
Hello everybody my name is Melanie McCarthy the children at Panda’s call me Mel. I have been working as Assistant Leader at Panda Playgroup since January 2004. There used to be two playgroups in the village and I first became involved when my children went to Copmanthorpe playgroup. I ran the mothers and toddlers group for about a year when my son was a baby and helped with the joining and transition of the playgroups when Panda Playgroup moved to the WI Hall. This was because the old building was demolished for new housing. I then had a break and went to do my Access into Healthcare and then when my son started school, I became Assistant Leader at Panda Playgroup. 

I have been working and caring for children for as long as I can remember!  I have been a nanny, an assistant playgroup leader at a playgroup for children with special needs, youth leader, assistant in a nursery class, child-minder, mum of three wonderful children, Share Care and Assistant Leader at Panda Playgroup.

The special essence of Panda’s are the parents, children and work colleagues which makes Panda Playgroup an essential part of the community for families with very young children. The friendship’s formed at Tiny Tots, Sticky Mitts and Panda Playgroup is why Panda’s is a great place to be.
Nikki Burrows, Early Years Assistant
Diploma for the Children and Young People's Workforce Level 3

I have been involved with Panda Playgroup since 2006, first as a Mum then I took on the role of Chair on the committee for two years. While I was doing that I decided to study childcare and take on a more permanent role at the playgroup. I have recently completed First Aid, Food Handling and Disability Awareness.


Sharon Price, Playgroup Assistant

I’m also a Panda mum, although my children are growing fast and at university or the Grammar School. I’ve been a Playgroup Assistant at Panda since 2005, and have recently completed training in First Aid, Food Handling and Disability Awareness.


Geraldine Brooks, Playgroup Assistant
I moved to Copmanthorpe from London in 2002, when my son was just a year old. I was recommended Panda Playgroup Mother & Baby session by my neighbours. We were made to feel very welcomed by the staff and very quickly made some lovely new friends, who are still a big part of our lives. 

I got involved in Panda Playgroup as the Secretary on the committee in 2004 and then started working as a Playgroup Assistant in 2005, when my son started school. I left Panda in 2009 to have my beautiful daughter Martha, and have returned to work at Panda now that Martha is old enough.

I have worked with a number of different leaders, staff members and committee members over the years, all of whom have worked as a fantastic team to ensure that Panda Playgroup continues to provide a brilliant and safe environment for children to flourish and grow, long into the future.







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