All of our course tutors are trained and experienced playworkers who draw upon years of practice in diverse UK playwork settings.  In the UK, playworkers operate in adventure playgrounds, public parks, schools, hospitals, prisons – we go wherever children are.

Suzanna Law

Suzanna began as a mobile playworker, or playranger, in socio-economically deprived neighborhoods in Manchester, UK. She then pursued a second BA, graduated in 2012 with a First-Class Honours Degree in Playwork. At the same time, she help to found Pop-Up Adventure Play in both the UK and US, and was Lead Playworker during a 2 month residency on Governors Island in NYC. She is currently working towards her PhD in Playwork at Leeds Beckett University and is a gifted artist. At Pop-Up Adventure Play, she leads on project coordination and online communications.

Morgan Leichter-Saxby

Morgan trained as a playworker and play ranger in London following her MA in Anthropology, first with Penny Wilson and then Bob Hughes. In 2010, she co-founded Pop-Up Adventure Play US to address the lack of playwork knowledge in her home country. Since then she has presented at over a dozen conferences, including the keynote at the Children’s Development Forum in Bogota, and trained frontline staff at new and established sites. She has published numerous articles, and been named Playwork Writer of the Year (2013). She blogs at www.playeverything.wordpress.com, and at Pop-Up Adventure Play leads on training.

Together, Morgan and Suzanna have: created the Pop-Up Play Shop and Toolkit, designed and delivered the Playworker Development Course, toured the US (2014), Australia (2015), and the world (2015), produced The New American Adventure Playground Movement: How Communities Across the USA are Returning Risk and Freedom to Childhood, and co-hosted the international Playwork Campference with Santa Clarita Valley Adventure Play (2017).

David Stonehouse

David is a qualified children’s nurse. He is currently a Lecturer at Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland teaching on the Children’s nursing programme and before that was Senior Lecturer at Edge Hill University. He was Programme Leader for the Foundation Degree in Playwork, and is now pursuing a PhD at Leeds Beckett University on “the Experience of Pre-registration Children’s Nurses in Children’s Play in Both the Academic and Clinical Setting.

He is a frequently published writer on topics of management and leadership, and recently published “Support workers have a vital role to play in play” in the British Journal of Healthcare Assistants and “Ethical practice for the playwork practitioner” in the International Journal of Play.

Andy Hinchcliffe

Andy has more than ten years experience in playwork, beginning as a volunteer and now managing a community and children’s centre in Wyke. He has designed, campaigned for and managed provision across the district, providing extensive services to local residents from pre-birth to recreational activities for the elderly, always with play at its heart. He graduated in 2012 with a First-Class Honours Degree in Playwork, and has begun the process at the doctoral level. Andy is also a member of the Pop-Up Adventure Play board, and was part of the 2014 US national tour.

Sue Smith

Sue began in community arts in West Yorkshire and now supports play development in schools in the West Midlands. On the way, she has done all manner of work with all manner of children, plus training and mentoring adults in a wide range of contexts, in both paid and voluntary roles, linked by a passion for play and children’s rights. After many years as Safeguarding lead for a Local Authority Youth Service, she continues to support safeguarding practice within community and faith-based organizations. She enjoys reforming policy and procedures so that they actually enable great practice instead of getting in the way.

Sue is a maker, a doer and a critical thinker, who believes that nothing – material or experiential – is ever wasted and a ‘can do’ attitude goes a long way!

Jacky Kilvington

Jacky is a qualified art teacher, playworker, freelance writer and trainer of all things to do with play and playwork.  She has worked with or on behalf of children and young people for over 45 years. She began her career as an art teacher, moving on to part-time youth work, then playwork.  She has been involved in the writing, and the assessment and quality assurance of, a range of playwork courses at all levels including for higher education and community-based practice. Jacky has presented many workshops at Playwork Conferences and together with Ali Wood has had two books published. She is now semi-retired and loves to spend time traveling the world, painting and being with her 5 grandchildren who keep her in touch with the world of children’s play.

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Each student completes an Enquiry Form at registration.  This gives us information on their particular needs and interests, so that we can assign the best Course Tutor for them.  All Course Tutors also contribute to the Online Forum where students meet to discuss course content and its application in their settings.

We have also conducted interviews online with leaders in playwork.  Here is one with Wendy Russell, Senior Lecturer of Play and Playwork at University of Gloucestershire and co-author of Right to Play: An Examination of the Importance of Play in the Lives of Children Worldwide.

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