Our Staff Team

We have a playwork team with a wealth of skills and experience of working with children and young people with disabilities. 

Our staff are part of what makes our small charity so unique. We pride ourselves on employing the best staff possible.

All Malvern Special Families staff are DBS checked, well trained and experienced in caring for children and young people with special needs.


Each play work team is led by a Playleader, supported by a Deputy Playleader, and together they create a fantastic environment for the children to play in. The teams give individual support according to the needs of the children, often one to one support where necessary.

As well as recruiting great calibre play staff, we provide a training programme to enable our staff team to develop professionally and in order to maintain our standard of practice. We provide compulsory training for all staff on safeguarding children.

If you are interested in joining our bank staff team either in a paid or voluntary position see our working with us pages.

Our Chief Executive Officer, Gareth Jones, is our Designated Safeguarding Lead and has overall responsibility for managing Malvern Special Families, including strategy, fundraising and community links. Gareth started his career as a volunteer with play schemes for children with disabilities and qualified as a registered nurse for learning disabilities in 1991. Gareth has held senior management positions at a variety of local and national charities.

Our Service Manager, Caroline Conein, has worked with Malvern Special Families since 2007. Caroline is responsible for the delivery of services; staff recruitment, training and support of our playworker team of up to 100 staff. Caroline is the lead for quality assurance within the organisation and supports the playleaders to maintain a culture of excellence throughout the clubs.

MBHelen Link is our Office Administrator. For general enquiries please contact her on admin@malvernspecialfamilies.org.uk

Play Leaders

Ann Marie Gilchrist is our Playleader for our Clubs at Regency High School. She has been working with us since 2011.


MBMargaret Bennett is our Playleader for Malvern Saturday Youth Club and has worked for Malvern Special Families at Regency, Poolbrook, Fort Royal and Malvern Vale. Margaret is also the leader for our Wednesday evening youth group at Malvern Vale Community Centre.

Laura Venables is our Playleader for the Ofsted registered 5-11s clubs at both the Poolbrook Centre and Fort Royal settings. Laura has been working for MSF since 2015.

Amy Tomlins is our Playleader for the Ofsted registered 5-11s club at Fort Royal during Easter and 2 weeks of the summer. She has been working with us since 2017.

Sophie Harrison is our Playleader for the Ofsted registered 5-11s club at Fort Royal during Easter and 2 weeks of the summer. She has been working with us since 2017.