Tuckswood nanny scoops top granny prize

A watch manager in the Norfolk fire service has been crowned Granny of the Month after her daughter secretly nominated her for the award.

Sharon Thorndyke, 55, from Tuckswood, who has two grandchildren and 13-step-grandchildren, said the secret to being a top nanny is to 'have time for the children' and to be 'always talking to them'.

Mum-of-three Mrs Thorndyke said she found it 'a bit of a surprise' when her youngest daughter Amy Gonzalez, 28, a nurse at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, said she had nominated her mum for the award – and that she had won it.

Mrs Gonzalez, who has two children, said she thought her own mum deserved the award because of the time she spends looking after her children, David, two, and Rebecca, five, as well as the amount of voluntary work she does.

The mum-and-daughter pair rotate their shifts to look after the grandchildren.

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Mrs Thorndyke said: 'We get out our diaries every week and plan our lives around what works and when I can look after the children.'

'I take David swimming, we play in the garden, and go out for walks with my dog.'

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But she added: 'Being a nanny is very different to being a mum. The grandchildren definitely get away with more than they ever would because nannies can spoil the children, without the same consequences.'

Mrs Gonzalez said her mum is 'young enough to still have fun' with her children.

She said: 'They have a lot of fun together – it's very special.'

As well as working full-time in Hethersett at the fire headquarters, Mrs Thorndyke also volunteers for the Fire Brigades Union, and is the children's liaison officer at East Coast Truckers – a charity which works with disadvantaged children.

Mrs Thorndyke said: 'I just do what I do. But sometimes I do struggle to fit it all in.'

She added: 'But children are the future.'

The award was awarded by Grannynet, the community-based website for grandmothers which will see the best grandmother of the year named in April 2013.

Do you have a story for the Norwich Evening News? Contact reporter Rosa McMahon on 01603 772495 or email rosa.mcmahon@archant.co.uk

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