Gosberton Rainbow playgroup leader retires after 30 years

Jane Houghton (front), Karen Ellison, Gill Smith, Belinda Taylor, Sharon Holstead and Jane Coley. Photo: SG160716-151TW
Jane Houghton (front), Karen Ellison, Gill Smith, Belinda Taylor, Sharon Holstead and Jane Coley. Photo: SG160716-151TW
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Mum-of-two Jane Houghton (62), of Gosberton, was thrown a surprise party by members of the playgroup to celebrate her time there as leader.

Jane, who retired on Friday, had spent 25 years in the role of manager so the party, held at Gosberton Methodist Church, was for staff and children to say goodbye to their beloved leader last Wednesday.

Children from Rainbows playgroup at Janes surprise party. Photo: SG160716-154TW

Children from Rainbows playgroup at Janes surprise party. Photo: SG160716-154TW

Member of staff, Sharon Holstead, said: “Jane was very surprised, she knew nothing about it! We tried to get as many people involved as possible, even parents of children who themselves used to come to the playgroup.

“We were planning it for six weeks, we even had to close down Jane’s daughter’s Facebook page so nothing was given away. We were very lucky that everyone kept very quiet about it.”

Jane told Sharon: “I can’t believe I knew nothing about it!”

There was a cake with a rainbow and mini children figures on, a card and other gifts. Also retiring was member of staff Belinda Taylor.

Sharon said: “She was always part of the team, very nice and easygoing, not like a boss at all.

“Everyone is sorry she’s retiring but understand her decision. It’s an intense job, even though it’s not full time.”

Jane hopes to spend more time with her two grandchildren, Jacob and Ethan, as Julian Smith takes over as manager.