Playworker Spotlight – Tia Shawyer

Posted on: 11th Apr 2022 | Posted in: Let's Play Staff

How did you get involved at Let’s Play?

I started Let’s Play back in 2012. It was a student placement through the college as my course was Health and Social Care. My placement was for 6 months, once a week. I adored Let’s Play so much that I asked to volunteer more regularly, to gain experience. When I was due to leave, Let’s Play was recruiting and I jumped at the opportunity! I’ve been there ever since and honestly, it’s the best decision I have ever made.

What is it like working at Let’s Play?

The Let’s Play community is one big family. I often refer to Let’s play as my happy place. When I am there, I feel amazing! No matter your mood, the children and staff will brighten any day. Every day is different and you learn something new each time.

Your favourite things about working at Let’s Play?

It has to be inclusivity. The way Let’s Play are able to meet the needs of all children, raise their self-esteem and make them feel valued. Let’s Play puts the children at the centre of everything they do, it is completely child-led. The project gives children choice and provides them with a place they feel comfortable to be completely themselves, that’s pretty powerful and the reason Let’s Play holds a very special place in my heart.

Favourite memory from working at Let’s Play?

Ahhh I have so many! The summers are incredible, from theme days, water fights and visits to the park its jam-packed and a lot of fun! My residential trip to Wales was a fantastic memory. Visiting the beach and seeing what an amazing time the children had, they are my favourite memories! The moments you enter a child’s world of play, the moment they let you in. You really cherish those moments, that’s when you think this is why I do this job!


How has Let’s Play affected your life?

I am currently a trainee teacher and Let’s Play gave me the confidence to do this. It taught me the importance of nurturing children, building relationships and really getting to know and understand a child. These things have to come before teaching and Let’s Play embedded that in my practice.

My dissertation at University was focused on the effectiveness of intensive interaction for children with autism. After working at Let’s Play for years intensive interaction is one of my favourite things to incorporate into play frames. It is a way of communicating and engaging with children, particularly those who are non-verbal. I interviewed staff for their views and used this to inform a discussion around why it is so important and why it works so effectively. Super passionate about it and believe it is a great way to build relationships with children.

Skip to content