Juniper Green nursery’s Moira Mouat retires after 22 years

Moira pictured with, from left, Finlay, Maia, Harper and Duncan. Picture:   Neil Hanna
Moira pictured with, from left, Finlay, Maia, Harper and Duncan. Picture: Neil Hanna
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IT was to be a part-time job on a temporary contract – and yet it has taken more than 20 years for her to call home time for good.

Much-loved nursery worker, Moira Mouat, 56, is to retire from Juniper Green Primary School after 22 years, with a community assembly being held next week in her honour.

Staff described the popular figure as a “very special individual” who had devoted her working life to children.

Moira, from Baberton Mains, said: “Juniper Green Primary has been a huge part of my life.

“I have watched so many children blossom into young adults and I love when they stop to say hello – or even better, offer me a lift because they are now old enough to drive.”

Moira answered an advert for the post of nursery nurse at the school back in August 1994 – and the rest is history.

She said: “It was a temporary part-time contract, but I knew early on that I wanted a permanent post.

“A full-time job came up in 1997 and I was delighted to get it. I can’t believe I’ve stayed for 22 years as it has passed so fast. I stayed because I love it.”

The Early Years Officer trained at Stevenson College 40 years ago, taking placements at Hailesland, St Leonard’s and South Fort nurseries.

From there, she worked at Victoria Park Day Nursery, at the former Edinburgh City Hospital – where she provided play activities for children in the infectious diseases unit – and at Pilrig Child and Family Centre. She then took a career break to have her children – Sarah, 28, and Callum, 25 – before joining Juniper Green where they both attended.

She has seen many changes at the school, including it being rebuilt in Baberton Mains Wynd in 2009.

But for now she is looking to the future, which she said will involve a “sunshine holiday” with her husband Ian, 64, the service support officer at Juniper Green, who will retire in the autumn.

Headteacher Anthea Grierson said: “Moira Mouat is a very special individual who has spent her working life nurturing and supporting nursery pupils and their families.

“She is a real character and people person who has relentless optimism, endless patience and an infectious sense of humour which makes her extremely popular with staff, parents and pupils at Juniper Green. We will miss her very much.”

Lee Picken, 37, whose son Rory attends the school nursery, added: “She has a lovely way with the children and they adore her. There have already been tears and I’m sure there will be many more on her last day.”

Parents and pupils will gather for an assembly on Friday to mark Moira’s time at the school.