A bit about our team…

SiobhanSiobhan. Owner & Manager at Oakland. I am a parent to 2 girls and owner/manager of Venture Kids. I hold a degree in Politics and a Level 5 Diploma in Playwork. I started Venture Kids because I wanted to offer the chance of affordable, quality childcare, based on giving kids the right to play. Play is not a luxury. It is a necessity. Happy kids = Happy parents.

 

Risa.jpgRisa. Manager at Oakland. Originally from Dallas, Texas, I now live in Belfast with my local husband. I have a BA and MSc in childhood psychology and my Level 5 in Playwork. As of September 2021 I have been awarded a funded PhD studentship through Queen’s University to study the Playwork Approach in partnership with Venture Kids! I love experiencing just how smart and creative children are, especially when given the independence, freedom and resources to create their own play at Venture Kids.

 

FrazerFrazer. Co owner & Manager at Knock. After spending years in the catering industry I decided to switch paths and follow my inner child (being a big kid myself!). I have recently completed my Level 5 Diploma in Playwork. At Venture Kids, we want to give kids the chance to play like we did when we were young. There are no screens or devices at VK, just lots of imagination and fun.

 

DanielleDanielle. Deputy Manager. (On Maternity Leave) I have worked with children of all ages for 7 years now. I hold a level 3 and level 5 diploma in Playwork. I’ve recently completed a BA(hons) in childhood and youth studies and a level 3 in Management course. I am also a trained first aider with St. Johns Ambulance and a badger leader. What I love most about working at VK is being able to let children develop friendships, their imagination and have fun!

KathrynKathryn. Deputy Manager. Currently I have my Level 3 diploma in Playwork from Belfast Metropolitan College, and last year I completed my degree in Early Childhood Studies Degree at Stranmillis University College. My favourite thing about Venture Kids is watching the children use their own imagination to create their play space. I’m always eager to get stuck into whatever crazy ideas the kids in Venture Kids come up with.

MichelleMichelle. Supervisor. I currently hold my level 3 in CCLD and am studying for my Level 3 in Playwork. I’m enthusiastic, outgoing and love messy play. I love Venture Kids because they let children be children and we have no technological devices. The children can use their own imagination to explore the world of play.

 

20190603_134751 (1) Kaitlyn. Supervisor. I currently have my Playwork Level 3 and am now studying my level 3 in Autism awareness. I’m as enthusiastic as the kids here and I am the ‘group game queen!’ My favourite thing about Venture Kids is how every day is different and the kids always learn something new.

 

PaddyPaddy. Playworker. I have been lucky enough to work with children for over 3 years. What really makes me happy is to see a child learn a new skill or make a new friend while they are having fun at the same time. As a team member at Venture Kids I see this happening every day!

 

20191024_123051Katie. Playworker. I am delighted to join Venture Kids after working in a kids play centre for nearly 3 years, while volunteering locally for Torbank special needs school and girl guiding UK. I have recently finished my A levels in English Literature, Media Studies and Sociology and joining Venture Kids has been wild! Venture Kids have such big personalities in such little people when given the right play space, without technology getting in the way, which I think is a brilliant way to develop children’s creativity and imagination just as I did when I was growing up!

20191023_150501Agnes. Playworker. I have worked for many years with children, previously as a registered child minder and also a voluntary youth leader. I have my Level 3 diploma in Playwork. I enjoy working with the children everyday as I get to see them learn new skills and have fun while playing. No two days are ever the same in Venture Kids and that’s the best part of it!

 

Lauren

Lauren. Playworker. I’ve been working with children for the last 6 years as a music teacher, classroom assistant and now a playworker. I love seeing children using their imaginations in play and hearing all the amazing things they create and invent! I love that Venture Kids gives the children space to explore and create and I’m happiest when that involves glitter, glue and paint!

 

AmandAmanda. Playworker. I currently have my level 3 in supporting teaching and learning. I have been a classroom assistant at Belmont primary school for 12 years. Working in early years, I know how vital play is and that’s why I love Venture Kids! I love the fact that there are no screens and how so many materials are provided for the children to use their imaginations and play, play, play!

 

EllieEllie. Playworker. I am currently studying my level 3 extended diploma in childcare and hope to further my education in university as i want to become a primary teacher. I’ve been working with children from when I was 14, whether that was in a volunteer club or in schools. It has always been the dream for me to work with children to give them the experiences I never had as a child. I love Venture Kids as it’s all about creative freedom through play!

 

Sophie

Sophie. Playworker. I am from originally from Donegal and at the moment I am studying Psychology at Queen’s University. I am an aspiring educational psychologist. I love working at Venture Kids because all of the kids are so creative and get stuck into all of the activities!

 

Matt

Matt. Playworker. I moved over here to live with my girlfriend and I’ve lived over here for over a year now. I have a level 3 working with Autism and I am also a level 2 swimming teacher. I was a single dad before I moved here and worked at a primary school for three years as a classroom assistant in both mainstream and Autistic unit. I came to Venture Kids for an interview about a minibus driver position and talked myself into a Playworker role too – and don’t regret it for a minute! I love working at Venture Kids and the kids are great. 

 

Lauren

Lauren. Playworker. I’m from Donegal and currently in Belfast completing a Bachelor of Education degree in primary teaching! I have a lot of experience working with children within the classroom, so I was very interested in learning more about Playwork! I love how different every day is at Venture Kids, and the creative freedom the children have!

 

cheryl_close Cheryl. Playworker. I have 15 years’ experience working with children and every day I am still learning myself. Gaining my level 5 Playwork has given me an opportunity to join the Venture Kids team. In doing so I have learned that every day is a play day! It is great to watch the children use their imagination in such a great play space.

 

Tori_CloseTori. Playworker. After working with children through summer camps and after school programs in California for over 10 years, I am delighted to continue aiding children in their development here in Belfast. Currently, I am studying at Queen’s University for Film Studies at Production. I enjoy watching children build their skills every day. Venture Kids is the perfect place for kids to use their imagination and skills and to have fun while doing it. 

 

Amy. Playworker. I have recently joined Venture Kids and what a whirlwind of fun it has been so far! I am currently at University in Belfast studying Communication and Counselling. I aspire to be a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist for children and young people in the future. I have had multiple voluntary and work experience opportunities to work with children across various settings. It is an absolute privilege to be part of the Venture Kids family and I am thoroughly enjoying every day. Little personalities and big imaginations are fantastically rewarding. A great reminder that that is what childhood is all about. I am feeling like a child myself again!

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