Friday, 17 September 2021

Children's music group leader in line for award

A WOMAN from Wargrave who quit her job due to a lung disorder is in the running for a national award.

A WOMAN from Wargrave who quit her job due to a lung disorder is in the running for a national award.

Chez Payne-Annetts, 38, was nominated for the What?s On 4 Little Ones Award by mothers of children who attend Caterpillar Music, her weekly singing and dancing group.

It comes just six years after she was diagnosed with catamenial pneumothorax, a rare condition caused by deposits from the womb eating through the diaphragm and settling in the lung.

Mrs Payne-Annetts, of Kings Acre, is one of only 14 people in the UK to be diagnosed since the Sixties.

She suffered a collapsed lung four times in as many months in the winter of 2008/2009.

She had an operation at Guy?s and St Thomas? Hospital in London to remove part of her damaged lung and have a wire mesh placed across her diaphragm to prevent any more deposits escaping. Mrs Payne-Annetts, who ran Wargrave Theatre Workshop?s youth group for 17 years, was forced to quit her job as a practice manager for a London mental health practice and struggled to find work.

She bought a franchise of Caterpillar Music, a nationwide scheme that introduces children to music, and held her first classes in Woodley and Wargrave in May 2013.

Now she runs weekly sessions at the scout hut off East View Road, Wargrave, on Fridays and at Loddon Hall in Twyford on Tuesdays.

She also visits schools and pre-schools, including Mill Meadows nursery in Henley, Highmoor nursery and Bishopswood Special School in Sonning Common.

Mrs Payne-Annetts said: ?It will have been going two years in May, which is fantastic and I can?t believe how well it?s going. Not having children of my own, it?s really nice to see these kids. It?s a privilege to watch them grow and develop.

?I probably see 250 children a week and it?s only 40 minutes a time so I get to have fun with them without having to deal with things like dirty nappies!

?We start off with traditional nursery rhymes and then play with puppets and instruments before a dancing song at the end to encourage movement and speech.?

Mrs Payne-Annetts has been nominated in the category for most outstanding activity leader for under-fives in the South.

She needs about 500 votes to stand a chance of claiming the title, which will be announced at a ceremony on June 19.

She said: ?I?m up against 14 or 15 others so I need as many people as possible to vote for me. I?ve got about 100 mummies I see in the week so I?m doing what I can to get the word out.?

To vote for Mrs Payne-Annetts, visit The deadline for votes is May 1.

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