About the Speakers

There's an Artist in the Playground

Pete F King

Pete has been involved in the area of children’s play and playwork since 1996. During the last 13 years Pete has been fascinated, perhaps a little ‘obsessed’ with the concept of free play. After completing a Masters in Research into free play at Leeds Metropolitan University the CAOS Free Play System was put forward. This work is being further pursued as part of Pete’s PhD studies with Swansea University. Along with helping to raise a family of four children, studying full time and living in the Pembrokeshire countryside, Pete is organically growing an idea of play termed Anarludichism. Anarludichism is Pete’s TAZ, his Temporary Autonomous Zone, a combination of his own biological, psychological and social thinking about children’s play.

Martin Maudsley

Since 2003 Martin Maudsley has worked part-time for Playwork Partnerships as their Outdoor Play Development Officer. He co-ordinated the Wild about Play networking project, bringing together playworkers, development officers, trainers and environmental organisations and subsequently compiled Playing on the Wildside - a publication for professionals and organisations wishing to enable opportunities for children to play freely in and around natural outdoor environments. In 2004 Martin jointly organised Wild & Away, the first UK conference about environmental play, which was repeated in 2006 and 2008. He has been a keynote speaker and workshop leader at Play England, Play Wales, Play Scotland, the Eden Project, Countryside Recreation Network, Forest Education Initiative, the Wildlife Trusts and the Natural Learning Initiative in the USA. Martin also works part-time as a freelance playworker, facilitator and consultant in outdoor play, as well as a professional storyteller.

Jess Milne

Jess Milne demonstrates 40 years experience in Play and Playwork.  A qualified carpenter, plumber, chainsaw and excavator operator, his 11 years experience of face to face work with children as a full time playworker started in London at Ampton St Adventure Playground in the late Sixties.  SInce then he has been required to practice to keep occupational competency for his many Playwork Training roles. His extensive training experience of 15 years began with the London Adventure Playground Association and he managed the Hackney Play Association Training Unit for 11 years. He spent 10 years in management at Islington Council and Hackney Play Association playgrounds. Jess Milne is a School Governor, Respite Care panel member, qualified art teacher and lecturer in Play in the 4 Nations. He has contributed to many Play books including Risk and Safety in Play and conference workshops on such diverse headings as Ethics, Sex and Playwork and Adventure Playgrounds, and was one of the major contributors to the Play Wales P3 Qualification in Playwork. Recently he has been elected onto the Board of Trustees of the London Play and Hackney Play Association. Jess is part of an experiment in a school in Hackney to attempt to enhance Play within the confines of an educational establishment. There is no spare time - but art and people loom large when there is. 

Wendy Russell

When Wendy Russell started working as a playworker in London in the mid 1970s she felt very much drawn to the counter-establishment culture of the adventure playground movement. She has worked in playwork ever since, in a number of roles including face-to-face playwork, training, development, management and research. She currently works part time as Senior Lecturer in Playwork at the University of Gloucestershire and part time freelancing and working on her own research.

Jayne Stansfeld (nee Shenstone)

Jayne is a freelance artist and play trainer. Her work includes playwork, community arts and project development; she lives in Suffolk with her husband and three hens. She was influenced in childhood by watching the Liverpool Free School on TV, in which children made up their own curriculum, and her first hand experience attending a school for children with special needs. Growing up with parents who were artists meant there was an art studio in her house, a space where she could and did make mess. She took for granted that all sorts of materials to play and create with were freely available. While Jayne trained as an artist and art teacher, her thinking was that the connection between creativity and growth were essential, and she was inspired by artists such as the Cardiff-based collective The Pioneers who challenged traditional notions of patronage and class division in the arts.