Play Volunteer

PATH’s mission is to place play firmly at the heart of community life in Tower Hamlets. We work with residents and landlords, community groups and a range of organisations to bring about a positive, lasting change in the borough. PATH - Play Association Tower Hamlets

Poplar HARCA supports and delivers a range of inclusive community activities for all ages. Children and young people are a valued members of our communities and as such all events include an element of work with children and young people. Poplar HARCA also works with partners who are specialists in work with different age groups, whether that’s children from birth to 4 years old, primary age children from 5-11 and secondary school age children and young people age 11+.

All children need to play, play is a social, creative, active and imaginative process, part of our shared human experience that supports happy and healthy development for children.

No matter how old we are or where we grew up we have all played as children and despite changes in the world around us, for example increasing hours of screen time for children, active and social outdoor play is still an essential part of childhood.

Volunteers will be supported by Poplar HARCA volunteer team and other professionals, where appropriate, who are working with Poplar HARCA towards shared community engagement goals.

Where? This opportunity is based across Poplar HARCA Community Centres. 

Description of Tasks:

  • Work with children between the ages of 5-13 in different settings, for example a community centre or outdoor event or project.
  • Planning and delivering play opportunities for children and families, these include Poplar Harca holiday play clubs and festivals or events throughout the year.
  • Undertaking training in play and other relevant areas, for example First Aid, Safeguarding, health and safety and risk benefit assessment.
  • Ensuring the safety and well-being of children and young people attending play clubs and or events.
  • Planning varied activities to support active, creative and imaginative play opportunities suitable for children, with and without disabilities.
  • Working as a team to create a friendly, supportive, inclusive atmosphere for children and families.
  • Listen to children, respond to the child’s individual needs and reflect with other team members to ensure children’s choice and voice are at the heart of play opportunities.
  • Carry out all responsibilities and activities within an equal opportunities framework.
  • Work within agreeD policies.
  • Any other duties as required


Play Volunteers be from age 18 – 88 (depending on your energy levels!) all volunteers must have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, to check you don’t have a conviction that would prevent you working with children.

You will have energy and enthusiasm, a genuine interest in supporting the child’s right to play and in community based activities.


Play training will be provided by Play Association Tower Hamlets. Covering different skills needed, some theory and practical advice to build your confidence, a range of varied activities for indoor and outdoor play and learning about the benefits play has for children’s physical and mental health.

What you will gain:

  • An understanding of good quality play opportunities for children ages 5-13
  • A certificate for completing play training with PATH
  • Experience of play theory and observations
  • Ability to meet children’s individual needs
  • Basic awareness of health and safety practices
  • Understanding of equal opportunities
  • Good communication skills and team work
  • Ability to work on own initiative
  • Experience of volunteering in a variety of indoor and outdoor settings.

What we can offer:

  • We aim to provide a meaningful experience for you as a volunteer.
  • You will have a full induction followed by the right training and ongoing support.
  • You will have a named PH Contact and there will be opportunities for regular feedback so you can track your progress and work towards meeting your particular goals.
  • You will be prioritised for any further training we have on offer.
  • You will receive agreed ‘out of pocket’ travel and food expenses (for volunteering of 5 hours or more) with proof of receipts.
  • We will provide you with an honest reference regardless of how long you are with us.
  • We can promise a safe environment without discrimination and a supportive space to be in.

All volunteers will be required to complete an application form, attend an informal interview and supply two satisfactory character references

1 Start 2 Equality Monitoring 3 Complete

If you are under the age of 18 we require permission from your parent or guardian prior to you volunteering

More about you
Who should we contact in an emergency?
Please provide contact details of two referees who are both willing to provide a character reference. This will involve answering questions on a range of topics from your strengths to areas for development and your time management.

Unfortunately we cannot accept references from family or friends. If possible, at least one referee should know you from work, education or volunteering. There are lots of people suitable to provide references, if you are struggling to think of anyone suitable please get in touch and we can discuss your options.

Reference 1
Reference 2
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The information submitted to us may also be stored longer on Poplar HARCA databases for the continuation of services to you. From time to time we will share this information with our Communities and Neighbourhood Team so that we can track your progress. We may also share your information with funders of our Volunteering, Employment and Training initiatives and other monitoring organisations.We will not share your information with any third party company unless we have sought your consent. Read our full privacy notice.

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Sabiha Khanam

Volunteering Coordinator 


Eleanor Image

Play Association Manager

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