An interview with Chris Sheen
PUBLISHED: 09:26 14 January 2016 | UPDATED: 09:26 14 January 2016
Chris Sheen, owner of Footsteps Nursery in Chingford shares with WEL his passion for his business, being really happy with life and writing a children's book.
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Chris Sheen and I am the owner of Footsteps, a small chain of children’s nurseries in Chingford, Leytonstone and Newbury Park.
Where do you live?
I have just moved to North Chingford it’s a really friendly area and its great having everything that you need right on the doorstep.
What do you love about your job?
I love it when a parent tells me their child has really enjoyed an activity and told them all about it when they got home. That’s when I know that we are really doing our job well!
What is the worst part of your job?
The hardest part of our job is when we identify a child that needs extra help and we have to talk to the parents about it, but it is very rewarding when you see the difference that the right support can make.
What is the secret of your success?
Building a good team is the most important part of my job. My nurseries wouldn’t be successful if I didn’t have a dedicated staff team working long hours taking care of the children every day.
What has been the proudest moment in your career so far?
Opening Footsteps Chingford in October 2015 was an extremely proud moment. It took over two years to get the right permissions in place, but now it makes such a beautiful nursery it would have been a real shame if it ended up as anything else.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
I have had a roller coaster of a journey over the past 18 months, getting divorced and opening two new nurseries. So now I just want to concentrate on making them the best nurseries that they can possibly be and get Outstanding OFSTED ratings.
How do you relax?
I love spending time with my six-year-old daughter and we have a fantastic time rock climbing, ice skating, or doing anything that involves a bit of action.
What would your alternative career be?
I love the cinema and I love telling stories so I could really enjoy making and directing films.
When were you the happiest?
Other than when my daughter was born, I don’t think I have ever been happier than I am right now.
What is your greatest fear?
I have to make sure that up to 130 children a day are safe and well cared for so I always worry that if I don’t do my job properly the repercussions could be very serious.
How do you like to keep fit?
I love going to the gym, some people struggle with motivation but the only thing I struggle with is finding the time.
What is your next ambition?
I have written a children’s book that I am working on getting illustrated and published. I am hoping to strike the right balance between it being educational and entertaining but also quintessentially English.
What’s your drink of choice after a hard day?
I am equally happy with a pint or a gin and tonic.
What is top on your bucket list?
When my daughter was two I promised to take her up in a rocket for her 18th birthday so I hope it’s possible by 2027.
What is your New Year resolution for 2016?
I have wanted to climb Kilimanjaro since I was a teenager and I hope to make 2016 the year that it finally happens.
How are you celebrating the New Year?
I am just planning to go out to a bar with some friends.