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Deputy Play Manager

The Winch
Camden, Swiss Cottage, London (Greater)
£33,000 (rising to £34,000 on completion of probation)
Closing date
13 Mar 2024

Deputy Play Manager 

£33,000- £34,000 Full-Time

Introducing the Winch

The Winch is a dynamic children and young persons’ charity in Swiss Cottage, Camden. Founded in 1973, when our community repurposed a formerly derelict pub, as a much needed community space, we now engage and work with over 2,000 children, young people and families each year.

The Winch delivers a cradle to community pipeline of opportunity, through family support, play, youth-led, sports and social action programmes, working alongside children, young people and parents to develop their strengths, skills and sense of belonging of purpose. To make Camden a great place to live, learn and grow up in for all, we help people to read, create and connect at Belsize Community Library and back community-led change through the North Camden Zone.

Play at the Winch

We believe that play is essential to a happy and thriving childhood. Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states that “every child has the right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts”. Too often, children are denied these opportunities.

For over 25 years, the Winch has provided after school club and holiday play schemes to thousands of children, aged 4-11, and their families in Camden. Our after-school provision runs every day at the Winch, from 3pm to 6pm during term-time and for nine weeks a year during the school holidays. We are Ofsted registered and currently graded ‘outstanding’.

We follow a play-based approach, which is different from and complementary to formal schooling. With love and care, and through the knowledge, expertise and experience of our professional play team, we help children enjoy childhood in the present moment and to grow into their futures. We balance child-initiated play; in which children have autonomy to choose, shape and control their own experiences; and adult-initiated developmental opportunities, where children receive guidance, encouragement and support. We appreciate each individual child, their interests, skills and abilities. We travel with them as they navigate the excitement, disappointment, discoveries and challenges of childhood.

At the Winch, we pride ourselves on being far more than provision. We emphasise building authentic, trusting and lasting relationships with children and their families. Play is at the heart of the Winch, and it shapes how we work as children and families transition through each stage of their growing lives.

Deputy Play Manager Salary £33,000 (rising to £34,000 on completion of probation)

Hours 40 hours per week/42.5 hours Holiday Play Schemes

Contract Permanent Probation Six Months Accountable to Play Manager

Start Date 18 March 2024 or earlier

Location 21 Winchester Road, Camden NW3 3NR


The Winch works to help each child succeed, regardless of their circumstances, by giving them the opportunity and support they need. As part of its provision for children from birth into adulthood, the Winch delivers after school and holiday play schemes for children aged 4-11 years.

The Deputy Play Manager is a key member of the Play team, and the wider Winch management team. They work closely with the Play Manager, to plan, deliver and evaluate the provision for children, ensuring it contributes effectively towards the Winch’s mission, values and goals.

The Deputy Play Manager helps lead and manage the staff and volunteers, deputising for the manager where required. They also work directly in the provision with children; setting up, leading and participating in play activities and building relationships with children and their families.

The Deputy Play Manager leads the collection of parent fees, ensuring the effective administration of enquiries and bookings, liaising closely with the Winch’s finance and operations team. They are responsible for supporting the safeguarding and health and safety of children, in the Winch’s care and for ensuring compliance with Ofsted and other regulatory and legal requirements.

Principal tasks & responsibilities

To deliver high quality Play provision to children aged 4-11 years old;

● Support the design, planning, practical preparation for, and delivery of a high-quality Play provision. ● Help lead and manage staff, volunteers and partners

● To deliver a focused Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) programme that supports the transition of reception age children into the setting to foster the wellbeing and the development of every individual child.

● Lead and deliver play opportunities for all children, ensuring they are appropriately evaluated and aligned with the Winch’s mission, values and goals


● Plan and deliver personalised, age appropriate play opportunities for children, aged 4-11, within the context of a safe, trusting and positive professional relationship

● Lead, model and participate in play, including sports and other physical activities

● Ensure that children’s voices are heard, respected, valued and responded to

● Supervise and assist in safely collecting and transporting children from partner schools, as part of our local ‘walking bus’ service

Families and Carers

● Build positive relationships with families and carers, supporting their enquiries, bookings and engagement with the provision

● Manage and administer the registration of children and the collection of parent fees, ensuring robust, timely and accurate records are maintained.

● Design appropriate events, opportunities and activities to engage parents and to secure their insight and feedback

● Support our work with families facing difficulties


● Ensure children are safeguarded, in accordance with the Winch’s standards, policy and expectations.

● Ensure that staff, volunteers and partners understand and work in accordance with the Winch’s policy and expectations, and that continuous professional development and training opportunities are provided

● Deliver effective support to children with additional needs, including those children engaged with social care


● Assist with effective communication, publicity and promotion to families, partners and supporters

● Take photos and film to capture the workshops, activities and events 

Evaluation and Reflection

● Identify and use the appropriate methods to evaluate the effectiveness of the provision and identify areas for improvement.

● Collect, enter and analyse data to drive continuous improvement

● Actively contribute to the reflection and learning in the team and across the wider organisation, to ensure we anticipate and respond to changing local needs and aspirations.

General Duties

● Model commitment to the principles of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.

● Demonstrate commitment to, and take responsibility for, safeguarding children, young people and adults at risk, in the context of your role.

● Take responsibility for your professional development and learning.

● Attend and participate in individual, staff, trustee and team meetings, supervision, and appraisals, as required.

● Work collaboratively with and provide cover where necessary to other Winch programmes

● Always exhibit The Winch’s values and positive behaviours.

● Adhere to and help develop the policies, guidelines and processes of the Winch

● Act as an ambassador for and champion of the Winch.

Person Specification


A minimum of Level 3 in Play Work, Early Years Childcare or equivalent Qualifications evidencing appropriate literacy and numeracy skills.

At least three years’ experience of successfully working and engaging with children

Excellent working knowledge and experience of the Early Years Foundation Stage and Ofsted requirements.

Experience of planning and delivering a diverse, stimulating and age appropriate provision for children.

Experience of contributing to effective administration and evaluation of provision.

Ability to model and lead adventure play, sports or other physical play-based activities.

Ability to input, update and maintain spreadsheets to manage and collect parents fees.

Robust working knowledge and understanding of safeguarding and child protection for young people.

Excellent communication, interpersonal and presentation skills.

Good IT skills, use of email and Google suite packages (including, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.)


Experience of working with groups facing multiple disadvantages or challenges 2 years’ experience working with 4- 5 year olds

Experience of leading and delivering play activities for children aged 5-11.

Experience of supervising others and/or working with volunteers.

Understanding of the principles of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion and ability to apply these principles in planning work with children and their communities.

Knowledge of current issues affecting children and families.

Evidence of recent training, such as first aid or food hygiene.

The Winch Values

We are committed to the following values:

● Act with integrity because we believe that authenticity must lie at the heart of what we do.

● Be ready for anything because we recognise that others’ lives and situations require us to be flexible and responsive.

● Go the extra mile because we understand that additional commitment is often needed to make a difference, whether to a child or a professional.

● Show compassion because we see each person we work with as a unique individual and part of our family.

● Take the initiative because we feel that too often interventions fail or systems miss the point because nobody is being proactive and seeking out solutions.

● Work collaboratively because we believe that children, parents and everyone committed to supporting them hold part of the solution.

What else do I need to know?

The Winch is based at 21 Winchester Road, London NW3 3NR, just a minute’s walk from Swiss Cottage underground station and within walking distance of multiple bus routes. This full role includes occasional evening work and weekends. During term time, our core hours are 9.30am-6.30pm. Our Holiday Play Scheme runs from 8.45am-6.15pm The Benefits We offer a training budget. We ask you to complete mandatory accredited training, which counts towards your continuing professional development.

The Winch has an Employee Assistance Programme with Health Assured. This includes access to a wealth of services including counselling, legal information, bereavement support, medical information and CBT online. There is also access to a virtual library of wellbeing information.

We offer new employees 30 days holiday pro rata per year (including Bank Holidays) and the opportunity to join a contributory pension scheme. Important Note The Winch is committed to keeping children, young people and vulnerable adults safe from harm. The successful candidate will be subject to Enhanced DBS checks and be required to undertake safeguarding training Deputy Play Manager

The Winch is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in employment and its employment policies for recruitment are designed to ensure that no job applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, ethnic and national origin, disability or gender reassignment. You can read more about The Winch on our website at

How to apply:

Please apply by sending in a comprehensive CV (maximum 3 pages) and a personal statement outlining how you meet the person specification. Your personal statement must be no longer than 2 pages of A4, with a minimum font size 12. We will not consider your application if you do not provide a personal statement. You must provide the names, positions, organisations and telephone contact numbers of two referees, one of whom should be your current/most recent employer. We will only approach your referee if you are offered the role. In addition, an enhanced DBS check is required for employees at The Winch.

Please send your completed application to . Please title the email Deputy Play Manager application. You can send your applications at any time.

Suitable candidates will be interviewed on a rolling basis. The deadline for applications is midnight Sunday 3rd March 2024. If you would like to speak to someone to find out more about the role then contact Kim at

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