A NURSERY which has launched pioneering baby massage, yoga and meditation classes to help reduce anxiety and stress in children has won a top business award.

Fleximinder, based at Stretford Mall, offers a unique childcare service and has been named Small Business of the Year at The Manchester Awards 2019.

Proprietor Haylea Osbourne has 15 staff and 65 children at the nursery which was rated 'Good' by Ofsted recently.

The 39-year-old, who lives in Stretford, gave up a career in women's fashion four years ago to start up Fleximinder.

She launched the baby massage, yoga and meditation classes at no extra cost to parents and the sessions, which are run by nursery nurse Andrea Gray, and have proven to be a big hit with both the children and their parents.

Andrea, a mum-of-six who is a qualified massage, yoga and meditation teacher and has previously delivered similar sessions in schools, said: "We do two a week and it helps give the children a healthy and happy life.

"It reduces stress and anxiety. Some people may be surprised but there are so many children these days with stress and anxiety. It's all about emotional regulation. Getting the children to understand their feelings and how to deal with them.

"We can tell them what we do and they can use those tools themselves. For instance if a child feels worked up we get them to do a breathing technique.

"What we do soothes and calms them. There are so many health benefits.

"We start with baby massage and as the children get older we gradually introduce yoga and meditation. Even just a few minutes of calm benefits them.

"Mindfulness is also a big part of what we do. It's about getting children aware of their surroundings - what can you hear and smell? It's something we do when we go out on walks. Getting them to learn it now will help them when they're older."

Andrea, 43, who lives in Stretford, started working at Fleximinder last year.