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About the organisation

Hackney Playbus

We believe that all children under five living in East London should share the same opportunities to grow, thrive, and reach their potential.

Our mission is:

• to provide play, learning, and support to socially excluded families in East London, to encourage children’s early years development

• to strengthen families and communities by creating support systems and social networks

• reach isolated parents and carers and encourage them to attend our sessions

We provide our service from a double-decker bus, fully converted into a play area. We drive to estates and parks and encourage families to come and play. All our services are delivered in a way that is inclusive, friendly and welcoming.

You will be helping to provide one to one play opportunities to under 5’s and personalised support to parents and carers.

You will be creating opportunities for:

- children from disadvantaged backgrounds to have access to toys and play they may not otherwise have.

- connect parents and carers and encourage them to make friends and create support networks they may not otherwise have

- build parents and carers confidence and signpost them to services suitable for them

Volunteers will also have the freedom to organise and run activities of their choices. We are also open to new ideas from volunteers. Volunteering is a two way street, so if there is something you would like to achieve or deliver, we will try to make that happen if possible!

Role Aim: 

To help set up and run play sessions. Interact with families and children and parents and carers


Main tasks include:

- supervising children playing on and (in good weather) beside the playbus

- contributing to planning and carrying out play and craft activities

- maintaining a safe environment (being aware of potential trips and slips).

- administrative tasks such as registering new parents or completing attendance records

- helping to set up and pack away the play session

Skills needed: 

- Responsible

- Open minded

- Caring


We will train all our volunteers on safeguarding, confidentiality, boundaries and best practice in interacting with parents/carers and children aged 0-5 years. We also have one off training as they become available such as previously we have had mental health first aid, theory of change, song and music with children.

Various locations around Hackney
Time commitment: 
1-5 hours per week
Opening times: 
Our sessions run on Mondays 10:00 -12:00, 13:00-15:00 Wednesdays 10:00-12:00, 13:00-15:00 During summer: Thursdays 10:00-12:00 13:00-15:00 Fridays 10:00-12:00 13:00-15:00 Occasionally on weekends

Once you’ve registered interest in this volunteering role, we’ll send your name and UCL email address to the organisation for their records. You’ll also receive information about the next steps to take if you do wish to take things forward. The organisation has signed up to our code of standards, which includes a commitment to protecting your data. We won’t share your information with anyone unless you’ve given explicit consent to. We’ll also retain your details so we can follow up to see how you’re getting on with your volunteering and offer support if necessary. We take good care of your data – you can see full details here