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Project information

Our New Playbus

Hackney Playbus takes its Playbus out into the community to housing estates all over Hackney where children are growing up in deprivation. Once ‘aboard the Playbus’ adult carers form friendships, gain confidence as parents, pick up health tips and find out how to access the support they need.

August 2016 - March 2020

Charity information: Hackney Playbus

Hackney Playbus logo
  • Need


    The early years are crucial for a child’s future chances but the women we work with tell us that the challenges they face over homelessness, debt, immigration status etc. make parenting a struggle. Their information about child health and development is gained in a hap hazard way from the transient community they meet sofa surfing, at food banks etc. We increasingly meet mothers who are dislocated from statutory services and community knowledge as circumstances separate them from their roots.


    We take our mobile service to where families are isolated and provide an inclusive, welcoming and safe environment where we can listen and provide information. We enable friendships and mutual support between neighbours around parenting and build confidence by modelling play and providing information about early years learning and development, We bring in health professionals to provide one to one support. We recruit local volunteers to support parent/carers to access local support services.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Purchase a New Playbus


    » Purchase a New Playbus so we can deliver an improved service

    What success will look like

    Successful purchase of New Playbus

  • Impact


    We will continue to reach at least 1700 children every year with our services.


    We intend to purchase the beautiful Bristol Playbus professionally converted to a high standard.
    The risks are
    that we cannot meet the purchase cost by the deadline (31st March 2017)
    We have a multifaceted approach to raising funds which will mitigate against any one approach failing
    That Bristol Playbus will sell elsewhere
    We have paid a deposit to hold it
    There will be unforeseen mechanical/other costs. We have done extensive checks and our service charges do include vehicle maintenance.


    Donors will receive the Hackney Playbus quarterly Donors Newsletter and once this New Playbus campaign is underway, regular emails detailing activities and achievements. We will also use Facebook to keep our users and supporters informed.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £10,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £10,000 New Playbus Purchase cost
  • Background


    Our project delivers most of its services in Hackney which has one of the highest rates of child poverty in England. (L. B. Hackney Child Poverty needs Assessment 2014). The Hackney rate for children living in poverty using the End Child Poverty Campaign measure (which deducts housing costs) stood at 41% in 2013. This is the second highest rate in the country and in London. (A Profile of Hackney, its People and Place L.B. Hackney Policy Team January 2016).


    It is estimated that 19% of births at Homerton Hospital (Hackney) in 2013 were to women classed as socially vulnerable. (City and Hackney CCG). Our project aims to reach these women and their babies. Our sessions are open to all, representing a socio economic and cultural mix, and a variety of knowledge, experience and aspirations. Supporting the spread of health knowledge and growth of informal friendship networks will benefit all the children, we reach, especially the most vulnerable.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Hackney Playbus has a successful track record in community engagement. Our service is mobile and targeted on those areas where evidence suggests there is the greatest child poverty. Our outreach team doorknock on estates to ensure that families are aware of our services. We work with local partners and invite referrals. We carry a wealth of information about support services. Our staff team are all committed to an approach that is consistently friendly, welcoming, non judgemental and inclusive.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Claire Kelly

    Director - keeps the project on mission! Reaching children who may be at risk, building communities that are good places for children to grow up in

    Claire Lindsay (The 'Other Claire'!)

    Service Manager - Managing our amazing staff team and delivering an inclusive, welcoming and accessible experience everytime!

    Ian Hastings

    Playbus Driver/Depot Manager -Combining mechanical skills with a magical ability to engage with children. He's the one they ask for!

    Vanessa Kirkpatrick

    Referral Pathway Manager - ensuring we reach the most vulnerable children. Managing the volunteers who support parents to access services they need.