Meet the staff
SWAPA is staffed by trained playworkers who help kids stay safe, and realise their potential by helping them to create their own play environments. SWAPA's team of playworkers are fun, caring and community champions that have our children's best interests in mind - we couldn't do what we do without them!
Scroll down to learn more about them
and view our Open Positions (updated for Summer 2022)
I have been working on adventure playgrounds for over 10 years and I enjoy all aspects of the work - from getting messy, doing woodwork with children or with the staff team, advocating for the importance of children's free play in schools, thinking about the theory and practice of Playwork and supporting staff's reflective practice through to health and safety.
You are mostly likely to find me supporting a big game of capture the flag, or making people cringe with my awful 'dad' jokes.
If you're emailing us about anything it's likely to be me you're in touch with.
Playworker & Maintenance
I started working while young, becoming involved in playwork at Laburnum Boat Club and Design and Build (Play).
This gave me valuable experience at a grassroots level, which I have continued to build on during my career, both professionally and personally.
A qualified trainer, forest school leader, youth practitioner, landscaper and multi-trade builder, I'm happiest passing on my knowledge and skills to kids and young people. I can usually be found building play structures or playing with fires at SWAPA.
Playworker & studio manager
I have been a play and youth worker for more than 10 years. I am also a DJ/Music Producer and have always tried to introduce activities involving music. I am leading on SWAPA's music studio where I offer music production and DJ workshops, to help with self expression, social confidence as well as math and hand to eye coordination.
George Van der Byl
I wanted to become a playworker in 2019 during my gap year and while studying at university, and haven't left since. I play and write music and love cooking. You're likely to find me playing the piano, cooking with the kids in the kitchen or getting stuck into a table tennis tournament. I enjoy being active with the kids and can easily get lost in a game.
As a disabled person I have always had a passion to work with children and young people with and without disabilities.
I have worked across many play organisations in Hackney, including Hackney Play Association, Hackney Family Backup, The Learning Trust, Evergreen Play Association and the Trinity Centre.