Our Story

Hackney Playbus was set up in 1972 by Anthony Kendall, an elected local councillor in the London Borough of Hackney. The council provided funding for Hackney Playbus to buy and convert our first double-decker bus and to employ a team of early years playworkers to bring play opportunities to housing estates across the borough.

In 1998 we became an independently registered charity. The project went on to attract substantial Sure Start funding to continue to take our service out into the community in Hackney and Tower Hamlets, reaching around 5,000 children a year. When the government centralised early years delivery into children’s centres, Hackney Playbus found a new role in outreach, working in partnership with the new centres to ensure that the most isolated families were linked into children’s centre services.

Hackney Playbus continues to work in innovative ways with a range of partners, including children’s centres, health professionals, social landlords and other voluntary sector agencies. We work wherever there is a risk that children in their early years may miss out on support, and wherever there is an identified need to reach out and engage with families.