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Staff Story

KIDS turns 50 this year and has welcomed so many wonderful staff and services users over the years, and as part of our celebrations we are proud to hear from some of our amazing staff and their stories.

Meet Sarah, who has worked at KIDS for 20 years and is one of our amazing Playground Managers.

What initially drew you to working for KIDS?

My brother has a disability and was attending as a service user. As I was a sibling, my mum put me into the service along with my brother. This was a huge thing for my mum as it gave her the needed respite. We attended for many years and KIDS was a lifeline for my family. When I turned 17 I volunteered for a year until I was 18 at Lady Allen. As soon as I turned 18 I became a playworker working all the hours the playground was open. Then working my way up I became a deputy at Lady Allen before moving into managerial roles. Over the years I managed Little Wormwoods Scrubs Adventure Playground, the Hackney Hydrotherapy pool, helping at a playground in Westminster as the manager went on maternity leave. I now currently manage 2 sites for the charity which are the Lady Allen Adventure Playground and the Chelsea Adventure Playground. I have been with KIDS for 20 years from the time I started as a volunteer.

What was the general perception of disability at the time?

In the work environment it was always accepted and we knew about people living with disabilities. A lot of workers that worked in the playwork role either had family members or siblings with additional needs or are studying within the care profession (either nursing, social work, teaching, speech and language therapy) which makes the playground so unique – as we have a variety of well experienced staff within different field. Once we all come together, we provide a safe, fun and outstanding play environment for service users that we care for.

What are some of your fondest memories at KIDS?

My fondest memories are meeting playworkers. The job doesn’t feel like you are at work as you are having fun with children. I love that our job is so unique. We get to be creative with making play activities for children. It also has brought out childhood feelings again. My fondest of memories are always watching children develop and achieve new things through play, and seeing the children so happy.

What impact did the service have on the families that you supported?

It has a huge impact on the families that we support. We are a very well needed respite care facility for these families. We have been described as being a safety net for families. It is also important to recognise that we have not only been here as a play facility for children, although we do this well, we also are here to support families and notice when things get too much for them and signpost families that need extra services or support to relevant organisations/charities.

 

If you find Sarah's story has inspired you to want to work for our charity then please look through our current live vacancies here

You can also find out more about KIDS here 

We look forward to hearing from you!

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