I’m a part time PhD student at Leicester University as well as a playworker, writer and researcher. In between these activities I’m also a musician, martial artist, and trade union activist. Face-to-face work at Tiverton Adventure Playground and for the Devon Youth Service helps keep my theorising grounded in reality!
My PhD is researching children and young people’s use of mobile digital technology during play, and builds on the final piece of work I did for my MA at the University of Gloucestershire, entitled ‘Agency, assemblages and affordances: children and mobile phones in outdoor play’. I have recently passed my probation review/upgrade and am embarking on fieldwork. I have presented papers on my work at the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers Annual Conferences in 2016 and 2014, at the University of Gloucestershire, the National Playwork Conference 2014, and the International Play Association Conference 2014 in Istanbul. Response from delegates at all events has been really encouraging, and I’m looking forwards to looking at this in more depth. I feel particularly fortunate in having Peter Kraftl and Katy Bennett as my supervisors as I found I kept referencing Peter’s work in my M.A. anyway!
I have contributed a chapter to an upcoming book ‘Practice-based research in children’s play’ to be published by Policy Press and co-authored with John McKendrick an article ‘Playwork practitioners’ perceptions of the impact on play of austerity in the UK: comparing experiences in Scotland and SW England’ in the International Journal of Play (Taylor & Francis), and contributed a piece entitled ‘Playwork cuts: the effects of austerity on playwork practitioners, playgrounds, and play services’ to the 2014 inaugural edition of ‘The Journal of Playwork Practice’ (Policy Press).
I co-wrote, with Unite’s Sian Errington, a more political account of the impact of the cuts, entitled ‘Play is a Serious Business’ available here. http://www.unitetheunion.org/uploaded/documents/PlayIsASeriousBusiness11-17440-111-17979.pdf