Ask a Director

Our team of Directors come from all parts of the Play world and have many years experience working in the region. We try to keep a balance on the board with experts from playwork, adventure playground management, playground equipment & manufacturing, local authorities, development work and fundraising. Below is a little biog that explains each Director’s specialism. Have a read through and if you’d like to get in touch you can drop them an email through the “contact us” page.


Photo 29-05-2014 11 32 01 amJanet Jewitt

I have been manager of Eccleshill Adventure Playground, The Big Swing for the last 6 years. Prior to that I worked in other areas of the voluntary sector primarily supporting and developing children’s play provision across the Bradford District.
I have also worked both in the public and private sector, in the marketing, sales and promotion field. I bring a broad wealth of expertise across these areas as well as fundraising and developing new projects and programmes.
I am fully committed to the play agenda not only locally but regionally and nationally, this was one of the reasons I became a Board member of Yorkshire Play. In addition I feel it is hugely valuable to have a regional voice for play to act as a conduit for local providers. If we can demonstrate that regionally we can work together and adopt a coherent play message, it will help to influence  play at a national level.





Elaine Davies

Elaine has worked for Sheffield Out of School Network for 12 years as a Development Worker, Development Team Manager and, more recently as it’s Chief Executive Officer.  Through these roles she has experience of supporting play providers to develop quality, inclusive play provision and has supported the development of the playwork workforce.

Elaine has experience of partnership working e.g. as an active partner onSheffield’s Play Strategy Development Group.  She brings her knowledge of the play sector and it’s issues and experience in directing the activities of Sheffield Out of School Network to the Board of Directors.





Tom Matthews

Tom Matthews

Tom has designed and built playgrounds with some of the worlds leading playground companies. He has been involved in playground projects all over the country and has been as far afield as Ghana building playgrounds. He now works for his own playground design agency that specialises in enhanced environments for schools, nurseries and community play spaces. He has been on on the team at YP for 6 years. He has a keen interest in play metrics and exploring play value. He completed an MA at Sheffield University Landscape school and maintains an interest in experiential landscapes of all types. He occasionally does silly things to raise money for charities and has swum the English channel in a team and kayak’d across Scotland in a day to raise over £120,000 for a children’s charity. He also likes good food, especially when it is eaten and cooked outside.




Peter Barlow

Peter Barlow

Peter has worked in Local Authority play provision since 2003 and is responsible for the management, inspection and maintenance of over 500 facilities for young people, including equipped play areas, multi use games areas, skateparks and teenage social areas. Peter was heavily involved in the Play England Indicators Pilot, especially in the evaluation of the quality assessment tool and was responsible for implementing the Play Pathfinder Programme at Kirklees Council. He is currently Chair of the Yorkshire Playground Officers Group which brings together Local Authorities across the whole region (and further afield).




Peter Lamb

Working career with Hull City Council Parks Department since 1973 years, retiring in April 2011
My main areas of work at Hull were design and project management of parks and open spaces with a great deal of emphasis on provision of facilities for children and young people, having worked on over 60 children’s play areas. During this time, I saw the move away from risk and back to allowing a reasonable level of risk together with the re-emergence of natural materials to the play environment.  I played a key role in a HLF £10 million park refurbishment and introduced a variety of cycling and skate facilities into Hull’s Parks providing a range of challenges and activities.

For me play is about a total environment and is seen as a cradle to grave activity that should be available to all. I have been involved in a wide range of leisure related activities from running the annual Hull Fair to building exhibits at the Gateshead Garden Festival, to preparing stadium facilities for English Schools Athletic Championships, to open air pop concerts.

Outside of work I am a keen gardener and enjoy visiting many of the fine gardens this country has to offer. I have an interest in wildlife and nature issues and have been the treasurer of the Hull Bio Diversity Partnership for a number of years. Scouting occupies my spare time and I am currently a Group Scout Leader and a County Advisor for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award within Humberside Scouts. This is a fantastic mix of play, youth work, life skills, getting mucky and fun from six years old and for the rest of your life.





Ana Ardelean

Ana has been a very happy playworker for the past 9 years. She loves her job and imagines a world where everyone recognises the value of free play. She is particularly passionate about play environments and play in conflict areas. Ana is currently working for Leeds Play Network, doing playwork, play support work and fundraising. She is also studying Playwork at undergraduate level and has trained Leeds Beckett University international volunteers in playwork. When she isn’t goofing around, she meditates, takes pictures, drinks lots of tea and reads quirky facts. A big fan of big ideas, Ana plans to take Playwork to ‘unexplored’ territories around the world. First stop was at the Grande-Synthe refugee camp in France. Next stop… Uganda, where she will help East African Playgrounds build a school playground. Wish her luck!




Holly Ellis




                                                       Yanina Koszalinski