Robert Dighton first started working at ELHAP in 1989 as a playworker. He then qualified in play therapy and worked at the Whipps Cross Hospital Psychological Support Service for over eight years where he specialised in childhood trauma, grief and loss. For over four years, Robert served as the programme convenor for the Postgraduate Diploma and MA in Play Therapy at Roehampton University.
Robert returned to work at ELHAP in 2005. In 2018, he completed his MSc in Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) at the Tizard Centre, University of Kent. His entire career has focussed on the importance of children’s play in promoting physical and mental well-being. Robert has been the CEO of ELHAP for over eighteen years.
Joey joined ELHAP in 2013 as a volunteer, becoming a playworker in 2015. Over the decade spent associated with ELHAP, he has held various roles within ELHAP, including team leading on both playground and adult services, editing for the ELHAP connects project and Playground Senior Team Leader. Joey has since become the Deputy Chief Executive in October 2023. During this time, Joey completed a BA Hons in Philosophy at the University of Kent in 2018 and has since completed a MA in Social Work at UEL in partnership with The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in 2023. Across Joey’s academic pursuits, he maintained a particular focus on ethics, inclusion and diversity. As part of his MA, Joey undertook two placements within Tower Hamlets Children’s Service, working in the Permanency and Assessment and Intervention Teams. This unusual opportunity to work within two statutory placements within the same service gave Joey an invaluable opportunity to gain a strong understanding of the systems and processes of Children’s statutory services, while also allowing him to gain experience working with a wide range of families and circumstances.
Cathy was employed in various administration positions throughout her working career. She was General Manager at a City conference centre for 21 years, with a staff pool of 15 employees. Before joining ELHAP in September 2017, Cathy worked at an independent school in a Facilities and Health & Safety capacity, and has extensive experience of policies and procedures within a child specific environment.
Cathy brings with her a wealth of organisational skills and staff welfare is high on her radar.
Flora is a BA (Hons) Accountancy graduate and a qualified accountant with over 10 years experience working as a Finance Manager in a charity that works with children. Flora trained with one of the big accounting firms and has also worked in practices for many years. Flora brings with her both practice experience as well as experience working in a charity where she has dealt with charity finances. Flora loves being around children and is so passionate to use her skills and experience in making a positive difference to young people’s lives.
With a background in project management, events and income generation, Sophie has worked in many different arenas, including engineering, education and health and social care. For the last 11 years, she has been employed in the charity sector, delivering and securing funding for projects that raise awareness, give seldom-heard groups a platform and make a real difference to the lives of vulnerable people. Sophie is passionate about the great outdoors, and believes there is nothing more rewarding, than being part of a team that provides opportunities for children and young people to thrive.
Nirmol began his journey at ELHAP as a volunteer in March 2011 and then worked regularly was a playworker on the playground. Nirmol completed a BSc in Biomedical Sciences at Kings College, London. From 2016 Nirmol began working on the Orchard Project as an Activity Worker and since 2020 as a Team Leader helping coordinate the Orchard Project.
Over the years Nirmol has gained a vast knowledge and experience working with children, young people and adults both at ELHAP services and other projects across London.
Kris joined ELHAP July 2018 as the playground’s Development Playworker, initially for six months. This role was extended, after which Kris successful applied for ELHAP’s Wellbeing Playworker role. Throughout his time with ELHAP he has been a consistent feature of the playground during several projects – Adventure Play for All, Stay & Play, School Play Visits and Academic & Corporate Volunteering. Kris brings a wealth of over a quarter century experience, delivering projects across the United Kingdom. Working in the statutory, community and voluntary sectors supporting the many issues facing children, young people and their families. Kris’s passion is to empower children & young people’s ability to shape and lead the activities they aspire to achieve.
Caroline joined ELHAP in 2022 as Nature play worker. She has always been interested in finding creative ways to motivate people to be involved and connected with their lived environments, especially those people who experience social or practical barriers to their inclusion. This has guided her 20+ years of working life towards a variety of roles across education, health and social care, and in the charity and voluntary sectors from volunteering to coordinating local services with a national health charity to tutoring horticulture for employment skills. Having seen first-hand the tangible and evidenced benefits of nature for health and wellness as a support worker with a neurological rehabilitation team she gained a social and therapeutic horticultural practitioner (STH) qualification with Coventry University. She is a passionate believer that there is something in nature to benefit everyone and hopes to inspire the curiosity and confidence to explore and connect on ELHAPs wonderful site.