Hackney Playbus Coordinator, Playbus Driver and Playworker
Ian joined Hackney Playbus in July 1999 having previously worked with Tower Hamlets Playbus. A child at heart, Ian was well suited to playwork, and thrived in the role. He joined Hackney Playbus as joint coordinator at a time when the charity was staggering from the loss of key staff. Ian’s involvement marked the start of an improving era of successful fundraising, steady staffing and the delivery of more regular sessions. In February 2000 he assumed the role of Project Coordinator until he left for work in a school in India six years later in March 2006.
During these years Ian was not only hands on driving the Playbus to events and working with children and families, but also played a key role in the development of Hackney Playbus as an organisation. He worked tirelessly for Hackney Playbus, recruiting management committee members, organising meetings, bringing the sandwiches (and the red wine!), writing up minutes and staff newsletters, fundraising, developing strategy, and campaigning for the survival of the charity when necessary. Ian drummed up opportunities for the charity both in Hackney and in his home borough of Tower Hamlets, embedding Hackney Playbus in the emerging structure of Sure Starts and taking every occasion to get the Playbus out on the road, getting his head under the bonnet and coaxing life out of aging engines himself to make sure nothing got in the way of a child’s right to play. In short, Ian was instrumental in keeping Hackney Playbus going through thick and thin, doing everything imaginable to make play part of community life for children and families in the boroughs where we worked.
Ian returned to work with Hackney Playbus in the summers of 2007 and 2008 as a driver, playworker and mechanic and again in April 2010, at first part time interspersed with work abroad and then gradually returning to a full time position, playing an integral role in session delivery as well as lending his practical skills to keeping the Playbus engines ticking over, and to the design and conversion of our last two Playbuses.
Ian had a big impact on the lives of those he touched. He was a huge figure in the Hackney Playbus community, bringing fun, joy, laughter and support to so many families, colleagues and friends throughout his many years of work and play at Hackney Playbus.
We are so grateful for the time we had with Ian, for everything he taught us, for the kindnesses he showed us, for his playful spirit and for his calm, reassuring presence. Ian will always be a part of Hackney Playbus, remembered by us all with so much love.