Who We Are
Playing Out CIC is a small, not for profit, national social change organisation founded by parents.
We started – and now support and grow – the UK-wide resident led street play movement, where thousands of people are working in their own communities and time to bring about positive change for children. We have a small staff team based in Bristol and are steered by a board of voluntary directors, with help from a wider group of ‘expert friends‘.
Alice Ferguson, Co-Director
Alice started the project with her neighbour Amy and is now Managing Director of Playing Out CIC and one of the two executive directors on the board. Her role includes overseeing the organisation, developing new projects and talking up street play to anyone who will listen. Previously, Alice worked mainly in the environmental and voluntary sectors, including for Sustrans, Friends of the Earth and Climateworks, as well as running her own organic food shop. Since being a parent, she has also been actively involved in community efforts towards creating a more liveable neighbourhood, with a particular focus on children’s independent mobility and their access to public space in the city.
Ingrid Skeels, Co-Director
Ingrid is a writer and freelance strategic development worker who has worked with a range of community groups and charities. She is passionate about the importance of freedom and creativity in learning and in play for children and most of her work is now around these themes. As well as project management, fundraising and development work for Playing Out, and being on the Board of Directors, Ingrid works for Room 13 Hareclive and has published her first children’s book (secretly for adults!) and writes a blog about these themes at www.wildschoolstory.co.uk.
Amy Rose, Co-founder and Associate Artist
Amy is an interdisciplinary artist with a background in physical and visual theatre. Much of her early experience was as a street performer in international festivals. She now primarily works as a director of visual and site responsive theatre as well as making cross-form, participatory art works in response to social issues or public space. Amy’s involvement with developing Playing Out grew out of a creative project she did whilst at home with her two young daughters, and included writing, photography, drawing, dreaming and playing on her own street over several years, and then working with Alice to make it happen. Amy has inputted to the website design and guidance materials as well as created new projects and events.
Lucy Colbeck, Play Streets Development Officer
Lucy is our play streets development officer, working with residents, authorities, community groups… anyone who is interested or influential in growing the play streets model across the UK. Lucy comes from 6 years at Sustrans, working in community street design and school active travel. She has a post grad qualification in community development and a strong interest in how people from different starting points can develop a sense of agency around public space. She loves long walks with friends, singing and tag rugby!
Connie Gleeson, Admin & General Assistant
Connie is our general office assistant, handling enquiries and helping to keep the office ticking over! She has a degree in Anthropology and is currently studying Practical Sustainability Permaculture alongside Playing Out, rooting her interests in the importance of human and community engagement with nature and the land.
Gemma Mathieson, Social Media
Gemma is a freelance social media consultant and supports Playing Out with all things social media. Gemma has a voluntary sector background. She began blogging in her spare time nine years ago, sparking an interest in digital communication and social media. As the new family on her street, her first experience of Playing Out was an invitation to join a session. She knows first hand how playing out sessions support community connections, together with the joy of giving children a space to play.
Activators across the UK
In many parts of the UK, committed residents are working to get their local councils on board, spread the ‘playing out’ idea beyond their own streets and give peer-support to others locally. Some do this in their own time and some go on to win a small amount of seed funding to cover time and expenses. Please contact us to find out more – or if you think you are one!
Along with guest writers from various backgrounds, we all write for the Playing Out blog drawing on our different work, interests and experience. Explore some of the articles, ideas, opinions and stories and see what you think. You can receive our blog straight to your email in-box.