Sarah Oram, KIDS Lady Allen and Chelsea Adventure Playground Manager, shares what motivated her to work for KIDS and her fondest memory over the 20 years she has been with us.

I joined KIDS because my brother has a disability and was attending as a service user. As I was a sibling, my mum put me into the service along with my brother. This was a huge thing for my mum as it gave her the needed respite. We attended for many years and KIDS was a lifeline for my family.

When I turned 17 I volunteered for a year until I was 18 at Lady Allen Adventure Playground. As soon as I turned 18 I became a playworker working all the hours the playground was open. Then working my way up I became a deputy at Lady Allen before moving into managerial roles.

I now currently manage 2 sites for the charity which are the Lady Allen Adventure Playground and the Chelsea Adventure Playground. I have been with KIDS for 20 years from the time I started as a volunteer.

A lot of people that work as play workers either have family members or siblings with additional needs or are studying within the care profession (either nursing, social work, teaching, speech and language therapy) which makes the KIDS Adventure Playgrounds  so unique – as we have a variety of well experienced staff within different field. Once we all come together, we provide a safe, fun and outstanding play environment for service users that we care for.

My fondest memories  at KIDS are meeting play workers. The job doesn’t feel like you are at work as you are having fun with children and I love that our job is so unique. We get to be creative with making play activities for children. I also rewarding watching children develop and achieve new things through play, and seeing the children so happy.

KIDS Adventure Playgrounds have a  huge impact on the families that we support. We are a very well needed respite care facility for these families and are often described as being a safety net for families. It is also important to recognise that we have not only been here as a play facility for children, although we do this well, we also are here to support families and notice when things get too much for them and signpost families that need extra services or support to relevant organisations.