At PATH, we work as a team. We are all passionate about supporting the child’s right to play and creating more play opportunities for all children in Tower Hamlets to play. We are in three teams, the Trustees, the project and playwork team. Find out a bit more about us here.
Play Development Manager
My early childhood memories growing up in London are of hours of imaginary play and riding my bike on the street with my sister and friends. I played at Adventure Playgrounds in 1970s and got a job on one in 1990s. Since joining PATH in 2003 I’ve been part of amazing projects, redesigning play spaces on estates, running Whitehorse Adventure, supporting new and existing projects and still getting to play with the most inspirational people of all, the children and young people I work for. I’ve learnt a lot and continue to do so.
Finance and Administration Manager
I grew in Bethnal Green, playing outside a lot with my sisters and brother. Starting work at PATH as an administrator in 2005 reminded me how important those times were. I’ve done playwork training and notice less children play out now so value the work we do at PATH to change that. In my role as Finance Manager I’m organised and tidy, my playful side is messy and values the resources that are free.
Project support worker
I joined PATH in 2017 as my ambition is to make a difference in people lives through community work, doing it myself and inspiring others to get involved. I have 3 children myself and have volunteered to run a local parents forum, informing people what opportunities are available out there. I want to make more families aware of the amazing work that PATH does so we can work together to create playful, happy and memorable experiences for children now.
Meet the MC
PATH has a dedicated Management Committee of four volunteer members with a range of skills and expertise. The committee meets up to six times a year and offers ongoing support between meetings, often at very short notice. We are very grateful for their time, support and commitment.
Tania is one of the founder members of PATH and has been involved with the organisation since 2001 when she managed one of our member organisations, the Attlee Adventure Playground. This was redeveloped to what is now the Attlee Youth & Community Centre.
“I sit on the PATH MC because I love to play and remember what it felt like being able to run free and come home dirty and tired as a child (not that I’ve grown up any!!!!).
I do it because I believe in what play does and how well PATH facilitates it via the most fantastic team of experts and I feel privileged to be a very small part of it.”
Having two small kids and living locally, Leo and her family started to enjoy the play services in Tower Hamlets and came across the brilliant work that PATH was doing. Leo also runs two coworking spaces in the borough, and set up PlayPen, a pop-up parent’s workspace with crèche, to provide flexible affordable childcare.
“Having seen how much my own kids enjoy using our local play spaces and adventure playgrounds, it’s been an honour to play a small part in supporting the really important work that PATH does despite ongoing external economic challenges”.
Duwan has been part of the committee since 2004 through his previous employment at Spitalfields City Farm. Duwan currently works in the London borough of Haringey as Business Manager at The Willows Primary School and Children’s Centre, on Broadwater’s Inclusive Learning Community.
“I love play and by volunteering this gives me an opportunity to make a positive contribution to the community of Tower Hamlets.”
Paul is the newest member, joining us at the end of 2014. Paul’s background and experience covers nearly 30 years directly involved in playwork in many roles and play settings across London. He currently works on walk-to-school initiatives for the national walking charity Living Streets, which is based in Tower Hamlets.
“I’ve had close connections with PATH since 2002 when I worked on the pan-London play association support project. There’s something of a special connection for me as my interview for that job took place at Oxford House and included the first Director, Caroline Thom who did such a fine job of establishing the organisation from scratch. Over many years in different roles I’ve worked with the skilled, professional team at PATH and seen their determined, innovative approach in supporting and developing play opportunities across the borough. It’s a privilege to be involved on the committee to make a small contribution to this work.”
I have been living and working in Tower Hamlets for 15 years. Working in the City and Canary Wharf, I’ve seen the diversity, but also the challenges the local community face. When stumbling across PATH at an event introducing local charities and potential trustees, I was immediately impressed by the positivity and enthusiasm the PATH team showed for their cause.
Tower Hamlets can be a great place to live in, particularly for adults. Having grown up in the country side, I had all the space and opportunity you could wish for to just play. The kids of Tower Hamlets really do need somebody like PATH to give them as much opportunity to play as possible
Rachel is an actuary and risk management expert based in the city. She has volunteered all her life with local projects, especially those which help children. In Tower Hamlets she was a reading volunteer and is an active STEM ambassador, working to inspire young people to study STEM subjects.
“I’m hugely excited to be joining PATH to enable as many local children as possible to be able to play close to home. I was very lucky to play outside a lot growing up and I hope to bring my professional expertise to enable PATH to reach as many people as possible.”
The role of a playworker is to support all children and young people in the creation of a space in which they can play.
Play is a process that is a fundamental to a child’s healthy development, playworkers enable children to extend their play, facilitating play opportunities, not leading or over structuring.
The role involves ensuring spaces in which children play are varied, that children can follow their own ideas, playworkers see children as competent individuals, they respond to children’s play cues or intervene if help is needed to resolve conflict.
Playworker is a profession under pinned by the Playwork Principles, playworkers knowledge includes understanding play types, balancing risk with well-being and being an advocate for children and young people at all times.
Jon has been working for PATH since early 2018 as part of the playwork team. He has a background in game design and outdoor education and enrichment, having worked as a park ranger, city farmer and as crew for live games. He brings his passion for imaginative play, board games, and collaborative projects to Whitehorse every week.
Nida started working with PATH in Easter 2019, having previously volunteered at Arbour Youth Club she helps out at Whitehorse Adventure Playground during holidays.
Rilene de Sousa
Rilene de Sousa is a NVQ level 3 playworker. She has been working as childcare and playwork for over 20 years around London. She is also a performing artist. She has designed and delivered therapeutic play programmers using arts, music, drumming and dance for primary and secondary schools, children hospitals and community groups across London. As a new member of Whitehorse team Rilene is excited in share her ideas and knowledge around recycle arts, health living, play and learn for children.
Panda has been a playworker with PATH since 2015 working on different sessions around the borough. Panda did a Community Play Coordinator role from Jan 2016 – March 2017 involving taking loose parts into school and saw imaginary play increase during lunch time. Panda is the PATH social media expert and brings a playful attitude to the sessions.
PATH first met Jahan in 2006 when he came to play at Whitehorse Adventure Playground with his older brother and sister. Keen on digging in the sand, playing with water and cooking on fires he was a playful, smiley happy child. Since then he has trained in child care, worked with Tower Hamlets Parks Team and got taller, other than that he has not changed much.
Nazuma attended playwork training delivered by PATH in 2006 and learnt she wanted to be a playworker. Being a Mum and a Tower Hamlets resident for many years she brings local knowledge and can tell other Mums to leave the housework and come out to play.
Kitty has worked at PATH for over 10 years before leaving in 2015 but found that imaginative, creative outdoor play on various Tower Hamlets estates called her back. Kitty is Level 3 Playwork qualified and is doing freelance work with PATH as well as following her own very creative talents.
Charlie started at PATH in 2015, now a graduate of Circus Space Charlie shares her somersaulting and hand standing skills on play sessions in Poplar and Mile End.
Tim has been volunteering as a playworker with PATH since 2013 getting involved with both indoor and outdoor play in Mile End. Tim has years of experience writing, thinking , researching and evaluating play and playwork travelling as far as Australia to share the UK playwork ethos.