Petts Wood Playgroup

(for Children with Special Needs)

Meet the team...

Petts Wood Playgroup is run by a Leader and two Deputy Leaders alongside a large number of volunteers.  Find out more about them below...

Larry Simpson

Playgroup Leader

Sam Marshall

Deputy Leader

Janet Gloin

Deputy Leader

"During the long summer school vacation, some Dr. Barnado children would spend their holiday at the seaside in Portsmouth, my home town.  While still at school, as Junior Red Cross Cadets, we were asked to help out for one week. I loved it so much I spent the entire six weeks taking young people out in wheelchairs (even into the sea!) and helping with lunches etc.  Term time I worked on the children's ward in the local general hospital.  I trained as a general nurse at the Hammersmith Hospital and ophthalmics at Moorfields Eye Hospital.  I also worked in a residential home for disabled children.

Through my own children, I became involved with mother & toddler groups, one o'clock clubs and playgroups.  I completed courses for playgroup work.  When I moved to Petts Wood, I heard of this group which seemed to combine my interests and offered myself as a volunteer helper.  Three months later, in 1976,  I was asked to take over as one of two leaders and over 40 years later I am still here.  During this time I have completed courses to gain knowledge and skills and further qualifications relevant to the care of the children.

Hi, my name is Sam and I am mum to four children.  My youngest son has autism and used to attend this playgroup.  When he left in 2004, I came back as a volunteer and a bus escort and I've been here ever since.  In that time I've completed many courses including NVQ 3 in childcare and development and teaching assistant level 3.  I also trained in ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) which is a home based programme used to teach mainly autistic children.  I also do SIPs work, supporting children with additional needs in mainstream pre-schools in the afternoons.

I've lived in Petts Wood all my life and been involved with PWPG since 2000.  In that time, I have been escort on the minibus, driven the bus, been a volunteer and have been involved in fundraising.

I have completed my NVQ level 3 in childcare.  

Away from PWPG, I am a football coach, working with children from the age of five in after school sessions, Saturdays and holidays.  I also coach and play for a ladies football team.  I thoroughly enjoy being at playgroup, the children and staff make it a wonderful place to work and very rewarding.

I am responsible to the Committee who employ me.  I am also responsible for the training of the helpers and the care of the children.  So, if there is a problem, query or complaint, I am the first point of contact.  If I am unable to help directly, then I should be able to put you in touch with the appropriate person.  

I feel very privileged to have known and been involved with so many special and amazing children."