Meet the Staff

SWAPA is staffed by trained playworkers who help kids stay safe, and realise their play 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..

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 A massive thank you to Francisco de la Mora (a local parent) for his fantastic artwork and support

Gemma Reid

Senior Playworker

I have over a decade's worth of experience working with children and young people. SWAPA is very dear to me - my mum managed several playgrounds across Hackney and Islington and I grew up in these play spaces, including SWAPA. In 2016, after a stint teaching English abroad, I returned from Spain to join the SWAPA team.

I am a local resident, business owner and vocal community advocate for the importance of play.  As Senior Playworker I'm super excited to be re-energising the playground with new structures and play opportunities, and supporting our young people and the larger community as we work through these extraordinary times.

Jake Milne

Senior Playworker

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.

Joel Lewis


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. My aim is to set up a music studio at SWAPA so I can lead music production and DJ workshops, to help with self expression, social confidence as well as math and hand to eye coordination. 

Ebony-Marie Douglin


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. 

Erykah Holder


I am creative playworker who enjoys working with children to help explore their ideas through artistic means. I love to watch young children realise their true play potential by helping them make their own ideas come to life. 

George Van der Byl


 I wanted to become a playworker so I could work during my gap year and while studying at university, joining the team at SWAPA during the summer of 2019. My hobbies include playing and writing music. I enjoy being active with the kids and can easily get lost in a game.

Open Positions

We regularly have positions available for Playworkers, Trustees and Volunteers.

In January 2022 (TBC) we will be recruiting for our Playwork Apprentice Scheme aimed at 16-19 year olds.


Please get in touch if you're interested in any of these positions and we'll get back to you to discuss.

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