The Play Well Trust is a brand new project founded and part funded by Sarah Vaughan, who is also the creator of our sister site The Do Try This at Home School.
It was inspired by a beautiful family with a child who attended nursery with Sarah’s daughter, who sadly fell ill with a brain tumour in 2018. The little girl, who is thankfully currently doing well, had attended Sarah’s daughter’s 4th birthday party in the summer and had loved all of the creative and messy activities available there. Sarah decided to make her a “party in a box”, so that she had some activities she could do at home with her siblings and family, while she was recovering from her treatments. Sarah packed a shoe box with all sorts of creative goodies, wrapped it in brown paper and delivered the first ever “Feel Better Box”.
Since this time Sarah has sent boxes to other families with children who have been too poorly to attend school or nursery, and has seen the potential for something very special to emerge from this work. So, combining all of her skills and training, she has created The Play Well Trust, which will be part funded from a percentage of the profits from the sales of Sarah’s children’s books.
There are four main themes that run through The Play Well Trust; Play, Education, Laughter and Healing and these are the cornerstones of all of the work we do with children and families.
The aims of The Play Well Trust are:
To support children who are too unwell to attend school or nursery, and their families, through the use of play based activities.
To champion the use of play based learning.
To build and strengthen family relationships when a child is unwell, through the use of play and other therapies.
At The Play Well Trust we believe whole heartedly that play is essential to wellness and although, sadly, play is not a cure for all illness, it can certainly help with healing in all sense of the word. Play is a universal language.
Play can help to heal relationships between siblings.
Play can help to heal relationships between children and parents or carers.
Play helps children to work through thoughts and feelings that are difficult to understand.
Play offers children a way to express themselves.
And, most importantly….
Play offers children a chance to be children and a chance to enjoy the moment.
Play is a powerful tool.
MEet the Team
Founder of The Play Well Trust and The Do Try This at Home School
Sarah is a mum of three, a trained primary school teacher and Early Years specialist. She is a qualified holistic therapist and is now a published children’s author. She plans to combine all of these skills over time to create a special place that can help and support children and families who are experiencing the toughest of times.
Julie Elmes: Trustee
Julie Elmes is a phenomenal lady, who volunteers her time to saving the lives of others as a community first responder. She is also an outstanding photographer, and you will certainly see her work appearing on our social media and website pages. Julie has a background in purchasing consultancy and will be supporting The Play Well Trust to negotiate good deals with suppliers!
Wendy Hewett: Trustee
Wendy is a mum of two, who has first-hand experience of looking after a critically ill child in hospital and at home. She has worked in primary education for many years and is now training to become a primary school teacher.
When she is not busy doing all of these things, Wendy is fundraising for the Evelina Children’s Hospital in London. Last year she completed the London Marathon and this year she’s taking part in a spot of abseiling!
Lisa Wood: Trustee
Lisa is a mum of four, fabulous hairdresser and fitness instructor. She was inspired to offer her support to The Play Well Trust following her own experiences at Kings College Hospital in London, where her son underwent neurosurgery for chiari malformation decompression.
During her time at the hospital Lisa was deeply moved by the other children and families that she met and now would like to give some of her time to supporting us to help others in similar situations.
Selina Yeoman: Play Therapy Advisor
Selina Yeoman is a registered Play Therapist with many years’ experience of working with children and families in a therapeutic context. She is very supportive of The Play Well Trust and advises us on the ways in which activities and resources could us be used to support children and their families.
Selina has also advised on the benefits of play for children and families for the content of the website