2010 – 2013: Exploring Nature Play Programme Manager. Responsible for design and delivery of a £650,000 national flagship programme funded by Natural England and the Cabinet Office Social Action Fund. Helped to set up The Wild Network of 1,400 organisations (National Trust, RSPB, national and local play organisations, Scouts, Guides etc) with a combined membership of over 9 million people.
2006 – 2010: London Regional and then National Practice Manager. Responsible for managing the support and challenge programme for regional Big Lottery and then national Government funded revenue and capital programmes totalling £40 million. Developed from scratch and administered a £1 million government-funded small grants programme for community-run adventure playgrounds.
Worked with the Olympic Park Legacy Company to embed the Play England Design for Play principles in the masterplan for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park development platforms.
2003 – 2006: Managed the Quality in Play quality assurance programme and gained the government Investors in Children accreditation for the scheme. Also responsible for policy development and piloting the Mayor of London’s Supplementary Planning Guidance for Children’s Play and Recreation.
Wrote the outline framework for the creation of Play England.
Hackney Play Association
1985 – 2003: Worked in a number of project development and management roles culminating in being appointed Director in 1996. Fundraised c£20 million for HPA and other play projects in Hackney, including Play on the Estates, Design & Build and the Playwork Training Unit/CACHE Assessment Centre. Devised and co-wrote the first edition of Quality in Play quality assurance scheme manual now in its fourth edition.
Founder of Playday which is now the biggest celebration of children’s play with 1 million children enjoying 600 locally-organised events annually across the UK.
Wrote the successful £300k funding bid to set up London Play.
London Docklands Development Commission
1984 – 1985: Consultant responsible for developing a short-life community and arts centre in Victoria Dock, Newham.
Bermondsey Adventure Playground
1978 – 1984: Playworker and then senior playworker from 1979. As part of the role worked with the London Adventure Playground Association to develop a range of good practice manuals and training modules.
Publications and media
Quality in Play (1998, Hackney Play Association; 2001, 2004 London Play; 2008 Play England).
Developing an adventure playground – the essential elements (2008, Play England); Adventure Playgrounds: built by communities (2010, Play England).
Contributor to Evolutionary Playwork (2011, Routledge); Playwork Theory and Practice (2003, Routledge); Best Play – what play provision should do for children (2000, Children’s Play Council, National Playing Fields Association, Playlink); The First Claim (2000, Play Wales); Risk and Safety in Play (1997, Playlink).
Consultant writer The Playwork Principles (2003, Principles Scrutiny Group).
Numerous articles in play sector and wider media including Play Today, Ip-D!P, Children & Young People Now, Nursery World, Journal of Playwork Practice.
Numerous regional and national radio and TV interviews mainly related to Playday, with a brain-shredding 12 back-to-back on Playday 2012!
Keynote speeches, presentations and seminars at major national events including the Annual Playwork, Play Education and the Annual Early Years conferences.
Founder member of The Wild Network
Vice-chair Islington Play Association board of trustees
Member of Friends of Waterside Adventure Playground