The Purple Elephant Project



We are fortunate to have a wonderful team of therapists and other staff who are dedicated to delivering our services to the community

Jenny Haylock, MA

Founder & CEO
Founder, CEO, BAPT registered Play Therapist, Supervisor, VIG Practitioner and Therapeutic Parenting Trainer with adoption support, attachment and developmental trauma specialism. Jenny has worked locally for many years with extensive knowledge of problems families face. She is a passionate advocate for children believing every child has the right to access the help they need. Jenny enjoys long walks, photography and visiting remote Scottish Islands, searching for puffins. Whilst exploring Shetland, contemplating puffins, the vision for The Purple Elephant Project took shape!

Coleen Norman

Coleen has an undergrad degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in research psychology, with a focus on children in education. Coleen works locally, has training and experience in leading in safeguarding, policies and procedures and mental health in primary education. Coleen has worked supporting families through a multi-disciplinary approach in both Richmond and Hounslow Boroughs and has additional training in adult counselling. Coleen enjoys spending quality time with her four children, nurturing and growing her garden, walking through the countryside and visiting lighthouses.


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

Catherine Bridger

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!

Alan Knowles

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.

Wes Cuell


Katie Lyall

Katie has worked in fundraising roles in various national charities for 17years, most recently as Head of Fundraising at NASS. Katie has a Diploma in Fundraising Management and full membership of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising. As a local parent Katie is passionate about the work of the Purple Elephant Project, and hopes to assist in enabling the charity to reach more and more children in the future. Katie is an active member of the parent association of her local primary school. In rare time away from her children, Katie enjoys walking, travel and reading.

Therapists & Trainers

Sue Toppings, MA

Play Therapist
Degree in Education Studies (play work specialism), 20 years’ experience leading youth/after school clubs and play areas supporting children with disabilities. Sue studied the importance and healing qualities of play and supports children in bereavement, abuse, neglect, low self-esteem, selective mutism and anxiety. Children feeling safe, secure, and listened to is at the heart of the therapeutic relationship providing a foundation from which to explore. Outside the Playroom, Sue cares for her tropical fish, her fur babies Pixie, Poppy & Pearl and supports her local football team.

Hannah Bramwell, MA

Play Therapist
Hannah studied psychology as an undergraduate degree with a focus on developmental disorders followed by an MA in Play Therapy including child development, neuroscience and attachment. With an interest in Animal Assisted Play Therapy, Hannah recently adopted a puppy called Woody. "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". Hannah feels incredibly lucky to be a Play Therapist.

Sam Boyle, MA

Play Therapist
A BAPT registered Play Therapist and member of BACP, working with children and young adults struggling to communicate through traditional types of therapy. Post a long and successful career in Intensive Care Nursing, specialising in brain injuries and trauma, Sam achieved an honours degree in Nursing and Neuroscience. Following a career break to raise her children, Sam worked as a teaching assistant with a level 4 Diploma in Child Development. Her lifelong interest in child psychology led to a master’s degree in Play Therapy. Sam is passionate about her work as a Play Therapist.

Claire Mitchell, MA

Play Therapist
Prior to achieving a Masters in Play Therapy, Claire was a Development Manager for the NSPCC working with ChildLine and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command (CEOP) gaining insight into issues impacting children today. She has a range of experience working therapeutically with children and families who have experienced trauma, neglect, bereavement and loss, sexual abuse, behavioural concerns, and those in foster care or looked after.  She has experience in Therapeutic Life story work; Marschak Interaction Method (child/parent relationship assessment) and Theraplay.

Ailbhe Howard, MA

Play Therapist
Ailbhe has ten years' experience working with children providing Play Therapy for those with a range of communication and emotional needs in a variety of settings. She has a master’s degree in Play Therapy from Roehampton University and is a registered member of BAPT. 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-centred approach".

Genene Grubb

Play Therapist
Extensive work in child and adolescent mental health (inpatient, community and educational settings) a passion for early intervention and therapeutic work ensuring best outcomes. Wanting to meet the unique needs, experiences and developmental ability of children led to a master’s degree in Play Therapy and supporting those with attachment difficulties, anxiety, loss, domestic violence, parental separation, and developmental trauma. 'My favourite thing about Play Therapy is the unique opportunity to enter the child’s world through play and help them to feel seen and heard'.

Archana Chatterjee

Play Therapist
A BAPT-registered Play Therapist, passionate about emotionally supporting children and families through adoption, trauma, neglect, abuse, ASD and anxiety. Previous human rights work for global charities meeting vulnerable communities led to wanting to support families to thrive, rather than cope. She has worked in local and specialist schools, leading interventions, providing 1:1 support and mentoring refugee students. 'For me, the beauty of Play Therapy is connecting with a child in many ways; play, draw, music and dance to explore feelings and feel better about who they are."

Gráinne Nash Farrai

Play Therapist
A BAPT registered Play Therapist with an interest in children’s care and development. Her commitment to helping children achieve their potential led to 15 years’ experience in primary teaching reinforcing her belief in the importance and therapeutic value of play. Understanding the significance of play in social and emotional well-being prompted a Masters in Play Therapy. Her new career enables her to support children and families holistically as she works with those experiencing anxiety, low self-esteem, loss, attachment difficulties, domestic abuse and developmental trauma.

Tracy Evans

Play Therapist
Tracy is a BAPT registered Play Therapist with over ten years’ experience of working with children. As a teaching assistant, Tracy experienced a high level of need in children struggling with their emotions and feelings. These experiences led to a deeper interest in supporting children with their mental health. After gaining a degree in Psychology, Tracy trained as a Play Therapist at Roehampton University. Tracy feels it is a unique privilege to join each child throughout their play therapy journey, which provides the optimum therapeutic space and time they need.

Amy Sheppard

Play Therapist
Amy has an MA in Play Therapy and is a registered member of BAPT. Amy has an undergraduate degree in childhood development and is a qualified primary school teacher. She has supported children and families with complex needs including developmental trauma, looked after children, anxiety, siblings with additional needs, domestic violence, and attachment difficulties. ‘It is such a privilege to be able to connect with children in such a unique, meaningful and playful way. Play therapy allows us to see children in a new light which can lead the way to healing and recovery’.

Claire Crosby

Play Therapist
Claire, a registered Art Therapist with BAAT and HCPC, considers being trusted to hear peoples stories a huge privilege. She is passionate about supporting young people, working in schools with those experiencing trauma, anger, bereavement, low self-esteem and ASD. Her passion is rooted within creativity, strongly believing in the strength art can bring to help with communication. Claire is excited to use various art materials that speak most clearly and are most satisfying in the moment. As we are surrounded by images, colour and shape; it is interesting to consider how we orientate ourselves amongst that, and how we use and feel about it. Art therapy is allowing the art process to unravel and the medium to support and challenge or help reveal thoughts

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