Here is what the people who work for us have to say:
Lesley Schwartz - Chief Executive Officer
I have worked in the third sector for the past 28 years and I have seen some changes not in my opinion the for best! I was part of a forum in 2005 of providers in Hammersmith & Fulham and from this forum, Play Association Hammersmith & Fulham was born.
13 years later, I’m still here and just as committed to the charity as I was from the beginning. I have acquired a Level 5 in Management, NVQ Level 3 in Children’s Care, Learning and Development and Level 3 SENCO, Designated Safeguarding officer etc. I believe every child, no matter their race, gender, age, abilities and needs, has the right to play in a safe and secure environment, allowing them to reach their full potential.
Melanie Schwartz - Operations Manager
I started working for PAHF in 2008 as a sessional playworker and became a deputy playworker in 2012. I have worked with children since leaving school in 2005 and went to college to study for this. I hold NVQ and Certificate in Children's Care, Learning and Development at levels 2 and 3 and have 11.5 years’ experience in childcare. I'm a first aider as well as safeguarding trained. Working with children with disabilities has improved and adapted my practice with all children and I am continually learning from them.
In 2011 I volunteered my time to help with office work and came in weekly to help with the project's paper work and staffing. When my predecessor Rachel left us in 2013 I took on part of her job. Over the last 3 years I have developed and expanded on my role within the organisation and in Sept 2016 was named Operations Manager, with a speciality in SEN and disability due to my experience.
We have a very diverse and skilled staff team. A lot of our playworkers work in schools, nurseries and colleges as teachers or teaching assistants and the rest work for care agencies, after school clubs and youth clubs. We have had many young people volunteer with us, that have become staff members and gone on to work full time in care, play and/or education. Our playworkers come from all over London and some live in neighbouring counties. Their breadth of experience and knowledge benefits not only the children, but the organisation as a whole.