Team

Staff

Trustees

We are fortunate to have a wonderful team of therapists and other staff who are dedicated to delivering our services to the community
We are delighted to be supported by a dedicated trustee team who oversee the running of The Purple Elephant Project and provide valuable advice and experience
Staff Trustees
Jenny Haylock, MA
Founder
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Therapists & Trainers

Sue Toppings, MA
Play Therapist
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Hannah Bramwell, MA
Play Therapist
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Sam Boyle, MA
Play Therapist
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Claire Mitchell, MA
Play Therapist
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Ailbhe Howard, MA
Play Therapist
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Wes Cuell
Chairman
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Alan Knowles
Treasurer
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Sue Thompson
trustee
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Catherine Bridger
Trustee
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Jenny Haylock, MA
Founder

Jenny Haylock is the founder, CEO and driving force behind The Purple Elephant Project

 

Jenny is a Qualified, BAPT Registered Play Therapist, Supervisor, VIG Practitioner and Therapeutic Parenting Trainer with a specialism in adoption support, attachment and developmental trauma. Jenny has worked in the local area for many years and has extensive knowledge of the problems families in this community face. She is a passionate advocate for the children she supports and belives every child has the right to access the help they need. When not devoting her time to the charity, Jenny enjoys long walks in local parks, photography and visiting remote Scottish Islands; and especially searching for puffins. It was while wandering around Shetland and contemplating puffins that the vision for The Purple Elephant Project began to take shape.... 

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Wes Cuell
Chairman

Wes started his career in social work and spent 5 years working for Hertfordshire County Council as a social worker and deputy team leader and where he continues to work as Independent Chair of the adoption panel. Following positions as Area Director and Head of Commissioning for Bedfordshire, and Head of service for Luton Borough Council, Wes then moved to the NSPCC as Director of Services, where he was in position for 7 years. Aside from his ongoing work for Hertfordshire, Wes is the Independent Chair for BAAF and is currently a trustee for the Papworth Trust, The Children's Society (Chair of Risk and Audit Committee) & VJF Trust. Wes has also recently joined PACT as Chairman designate. When not working, Wes enjoys spending time with his family and is a keen athlete. He has completed all the worlds major marathons and participated in the Clipper Round the World sailing race in 2013/2014.

 

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Alan Knowles
Treasurer

Alan is a Chartered Accountant and has worked extensively in senior management and executive positions in both finance and resources as an employee and as a consultant. He currently works as Director of Finance & Support at the Bank Workers Charity having previously spent 5 years as Director of Finance & Administration at Buttle UK, a charity helping disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people in the UK. This was Alan’s first move into the charity sector following a successful career in the commercial sector working for a number of fund management organisations including Gartmore, F&C Asset Management Plc, Old Mutual plc and Eden Rock Capital Management. 

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Sue Thompson
trustee

After working in the advertising industry and having  a family, Sue trained as a Primary School Teacher. Sue taught in local Primary Schools as a class teacher and SENDCo and also studied for an MA at the Institute of Education. She left teaching to work with children who are in the care of the local authority. Sue has recently retired and is looking forward to a range of activities and voluntary work but also spending more time with her family and especially her grandchildren.

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Sue Toppings, MA
Play Therapist

Sue has over 20 years’ experience of working with children and young people having been operational lead in youth clubs, after school clubs, projects supporting children and adults with disabilities, as well as running and managing play areas.  With a first degree (BA Education Studies) specialising in Playwork, Sue has studied the importance of play in children’s lives and recognises the healing qualities it possesses in a therapeutic environment.

Completing her master’s degree in Play Therapy at Roehampton University Sue has been able to extend the support she can offer children through Play Therapy, enabling them to begin to explore troubling experiences in a safe and trusted environment.

Sue has worked with a range of children experiencing difficulties including; bereavement, abuse and neglect, low self-esteem, selective mutism and anxiety.  Making sure that every child feels safe, secure and listened too is at the heart of every therapeutic relationship providing a solid foundation from which to explore.  Sue is also qualified as an adult trainer and assessor across a variety of disciplines, and is registered as a Mental Health First Aid England Instructor.

 

 

When not in the Playroom, Sue can be found looking after her tropical fish aquarium, her fur babies Pixie, Poppy & Pearl or at a football match following her local team. 

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Catherine Bridger
Trustee

Catherine is currently in role as Deputy head having taught in a primary schools in Lewisham for a substnatial amount of time, followed by 12 years in Hounslow Borough schools. She has a particular interest in pastoral care and the development and nurture of the whole child, as well as ensuring children have the necessary life skills to make their own way independently in the world when they leave school. Catherine is passionate about education, and finds her job rewarding, because she can contribute to making a difference in children’s lives. In her spare time, she enjoys music, sailing, photography, crochet and the great outdoors; especially anything to do with the Lake District! 

 

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Hannah Bramwell, MA
Play Therapist

During her undergraduate degree, Hannah studied psychology with a focus on development and developmental disorders.  She then went on to complete the MA in Play Therapy, covering child development, neuroscience and attachment.  She now has a special interest in Animal Assisted Play Therapy and has recently adopted a wonderful puppy called Woody. Hannah says she feels incredibly lucky to be a play therapist; "The way that children and young people see the world never ceases to amaze me.  I think it is a privilege to meet children and families where they are and provide a safe space where difficult feelings can be processed"

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Sam Boyle, MA
Play Therapist

Sam is a registered Play Therapist with BAPT and a member of BACP working with children and young adults who struggle to communicate their problems through traditional types of therapy. After a long, successful career as an Intensive Care Nurse, specialising in brain injuries and trauma, Sam achieved a 1st Class Honours Degree in Nursing and a Degree in Neuroscience. Following a career break to raise her children she worked in a pre-school as a Teaching Assistant, achieving a Level 4 Diploma in Child Development. 

A lifelong interest in child psychology led Sam to study for and achieve a Masters Degree with Merit in Play Therapy from Roehampton University.

 

Sam is passionate about her work as a play therapist and the benefits it provides the children and families.

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Claire Mitchell, MA
Play Therapist

Prior to achieving her Masters in Play Therapy, Claire was a Development Manager for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).  Claire worked closely with a number of services, such as ChildLine and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command (CEOP) gaining valuable insight into the issues that affect children today.

Claire has a range of experience working therapeutically with children and families who have experienced trauma, neglect, bereavement and loss, sexual abuse, behavioural concerns and children in foster care or looked after children.  

 

Claire also has experience in Therapeutic Life story work; Marschak Interaction Method (conducting child/parent relationship assessment) and Theraplay.

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Ailbhe Howard, MA
Play Therapist

Ailbhe has ten years' experience working with children and has provided play therapy for children who have a range of communication and emotional needs in a variety of settings.

She has a Masters Degree in Play Therapy from Roehampton University London and is a registered member of the British Association of Play Therapists (BAPT), an accredited organisation by the Professional Standards Authority.

 

Ailbhe is passionate about her work and says she particularly enjoys giving every child and family the opportunity for space, expression and support. She believes that "every child is wonderful in their uniqueness and that play therapy allows for the celebration of this through a child-centered approach".