About Us

In 1982 the Attlee Foundation pioneered the first inclusive adventure playground in Tower Hamlets for children of all abilities. The vision, realised in 2006, was for a purpose-built community centre directly serving families, especially younger children, girls and women and young people to establish long term relationships with them and to provide access to services from trusted sources.

 

As was originally envisaged, the Attlee Centre evolved into a separate community-based organisation, sharing a common commitment to Clement Attlee’s philosophy and ethos. As of 1st April 2015, the Attlee Centre became independent of the Attlee Foundation with its own Board of Trustees.   

Please get in touch, we are a small and friendly team and will do our best to help you…

How we are run

The charity is managed by a dedicated operations director, who reports to our board which consists of eight trustees. The board agrees strategy and is accountable for the charity affairs. Operational matters sit with our operations director.

Your Attlee Centre team

Tania

Tania Shaikh

I joined the Attlee Adventure Playground as a volunteer in 1990. I returned as a sessional play worker for many years during the summer holidays. I was then offered the position of Centre Manger in 1998 and became the Director of the redeveloped Attlee Centre in 2006. I left in 2008 and re-joined in 2011 because I wanted to be a part of an organisation that provided opportunities to children to experience new things, in an environment that was happy, open and free from judgement. 


I bring 30 years of Playwork experience along with my background in Behavioural Sciences and Health Psychology.  


Play is important to me because I see the difference it makes to children in their development and in the moments that they play. It teaches them skills without them realising. It builds their confidence and resilience. It creates joy and memories. 


When I was a child, I loved playing chase with my friends and screaming, jumping off high walls and structures and climbing trees, sitting for hours waiting to be found! 

Kamrun

Kamrun Nahar

I joined the Attlee Centre in May 2021 as the Team Administrator, prior to my current role, I was an under 5s play volunteer and admin support here between 2018-2019. 
I am passionate about working for organisations that serve the local community and enable them to thrive. The Attlee Centre/ the team, share the same passion and drive to serve the community by providing a place where everyone is welcome to engage in play, learn new skills through various activities and creating a fun and safe social space for our children and families. 
I have over five years’ experience working in the not-for-profit organisations in Tower Hamlets, my roles have included Crèche/Stay and play worker, Family support worker and employability Coach. I started my career within office administration.  
As a mother and from my previous professional experience working with children, I recognise that play is crucial for a child’s development from a very early age. It is through play that children learn to engage and interact with the world around them. Play develops their physical and cognitive abilities, as well as build social/emotional skills.  
As a child I enjoyed being outdoors, I loved walking through my local nature reserve and looking at insects and birds and running around playing “chasing (it) games”, snap and snakes and ladders. I was very fond of Basketball and loved swimming. 

Shajeda

Shajeda Akhter

My connection with the AC begun when I was looking for a place to take my two, under five children. My Husband, who grew up in Thrawl Street, mentioned Attlee where he used play as a child. So, I decided to check this place out. My children and I liked the environment in Attlee and enjoyed the adventurous activities and the freedom. We became regular members of the playground. 

 

I played with my children as well as all other children there. The manager there at that time, saw my potential in interacting with the children and she approached and encouraged me to become a volunteer. I had no hesitation in saying yes because I love playing with children. I was offered  training to become a sessional play  worker. My career started with Attlee in 2002 and I am still here because it is fantastic. In fact, it often feels as though I’m not at work at all! 

 

Play is important to me because I believe it is the first step to encouraging children to develop their independence and self-esteem. I want to make a difference to every child that I encounter in the AC by providing opportunities and laying the foundations for a positive adulthood. 


As a child I loved outdoor play. I loved swimming, badminton and climbing trees, I still love these and they have become my hobbies. I also walk a lot through forests which brings back childhood memories. I’m also a very creative person, I love arts and craft and find it very therapeutic. 

Aysha

Aysha Miah

I’m a grandmother to many children and unpaid baker for family and friends! I raised my family and worked in the borough for many years. 

 

I worked as a Teaching Assistant for 30 years in a primary school: my experience ranges from nursery to year 6. I have also worked as a senior midday meal supervisor. When working in Harry Gosling Primary School, I used to escort the children here for their after-school club. I officially started here at the AC in 2018 as a sessional playworker. 

 

I like working with children and here it is free play. I like seeing children exploring through play. 


As a child, I enjoyed playing rounders, cricket and cross-country races. Now, I enjoy cooking, gardening, sewing and creative stuff.   

Kari (2)

Kari Nessa

I was born and raised in Tower Hamlets.  
My connection with the AC started off with work experience, but I liked the staff and the Centre so stayed on to volunteer. I was then offered a sessional playworker role with training.  


I have worked in both primary and secondary schools for many years as well as working at the AC as a Playworker for 11 years. I’m currently working as a specialist speech and language Teaching Assistant.  


I believe play is important because it gives children a way to explore, learning new ways to engage with others and having their own choice to play what they want, giving them independence and choice. 

As a child, I enjoyed playing rounders, badminton and dodgeball. I enjoy them still as well as reading, long walks and trying different foods.  

Shoma

Shoma Ahmed

I was born in Tower Hamlets, went to school here and lived here for majority of my childhood. I was a member at the old Attlee Playground since the age of 5 years. I attended with my mum and my younger brother. I moved on to be a volunteer and later employed by the Attlee Centre. I have been a Play Worker here for almost 4 years now. 


For the last 3 years, I have been a nursery nurse working with 0–5 year olds but I have also worked with children of all different ages in schools and through volunteering in Cambodia. 


For me, play is important because it  allows  people to forget about external problems since they are too busy having fun! I want to bring back traditional play and want to be seen as a member of staff who is approachable and takes part in all activities. I want to be someone the children look up to and be a role model. 
I enjoy working with children and playing because it allows me to be a big child too. I like arts and crafts and some sports like cycling and badminton. 


My favourite things to play as a child were hopscotch, card games as well as learning magic tricks. I also liked board games like ludo, snakes and ladders and chess. 

Hasnat

Ahmed Abul Hasnat

I’ve grown up in the borough, attending both school and college in Tower Hamlets. I joined the AC in 2018 and bring 4 years of sports coaching experience; it has helped me, and the AC provide high standard of sport sessions. The AC provides security and a safe environment for children to be themselves and to try new things. 


I want to make a difference to the community through community sports.  
My favourite sport is cricket and football but like trying all sports

Robert

Robert Jacobs

I was born and raised in Tower Hamlets.   

I joined the AC in 2017. Prior to this, I had worked for British Railways, Royal Mail and various building maintenance companies.  

Our Board

subhash

Subhash Thakrar

I became involved with the AC through my connection on the Attlee Foundation Board. I was the treasurer of the AC but now am the Chair.  
 
As a Trustee, I want to give something back to society in which I came in as a refugee and amassed good success in life. I want others to also benefit. I want to make a difference to the future of children of our society who may need support and confidence.  
 
I am a chartered accountant by qualification. I have retired from the profession and now sit on the boards of UK and international companies and charitable trusts. My experience lies in leading organisations and ensuring good governance. I am the past Chairman of London Chamber of Commerce and hope that my connections will help us in our progress.  
 
Playing is important because it brings balance and enables fresh thought processes.  
 
As a child, I had mixed activities which included playing cricket and football in the back streets and cycling with an old Hercules bicycle passed down to me from my two elder siblings. 

Male user

Duwan Farquharson

sandra_kabir

Sandra Kabir

I became involved with the Attlee Centre and Foundation as a Trustee more than ten years ago; I wanted to use my experience and commitment to social justice to make positive change in the lives of the local community in Spitalfields. 
 
I bring thirty years of working in the international voluntary sector, primarily on women’s issues. I also bring management skills, programme planning and implementation skills and advocacy. 
 
I am grandmother of three, Elected Councillor for London Borough of Brent, Chair of The Village School Governing Body and Trustee of Council of Voluntary Services in Brent. 
 
As a child, I loved playing netball, now, I love messing about with my grandchildren. 

Zakir

Zakir Hussain

 “I have lived in East London for all of my life and have been involved with the Attlee Foundation and the community centre for the majority of my life, initially as a user of a centre, then as the lead member of a youth project and finally as a trustee. Over the years I have helped set up and assisted on numerous community projects and initiatives and have also been involved in various voluntary work including with the Toynbee Hall Legal Advice Centre where I set up two separate pro bono legal advice sessions.

I am currently a practicing Solicitor Advocate and have previously been employed by The London Borough of Tower Hamlets and was vice-chair of the London and Home Counties Branch of the Solicitors in Local Government. I also previously taught A-Level Law and held the position of Head of Law at the Sir John Cass and Redcoat Sixth Form which is based within Tower Hamlets.

With my previous involvement with the Centre and its close proximity to my home in addition to the other voluntary activities that I was involved in at the time, I had no hesitation in accepting an invitation to be appointed as a trustee. I have been fortunate in being able to have witnessed and been part of the work of the Foundation over the years from the positions of a user of the community centre, as someone delivering a youth project at the community centre and now as a trustee of the Foundation. I know first-hand the benefit to the local community of both the Foundation as well as the community centre due to the much needed opportunities that it provides to local people. The fact that the Foundation carries on the legacy of the important work that Clement Attlee was involved in and the method it uses to do this, I believe, is something to aspire to.

Besides my previous involvement with the Foundation and the centre and the skills that I have gained through my profession, I bring with me a depth of experience of involvement in local voluntary organisations and projects in both a lead as well as supportive role. I also bring with me local knowledge of the area and people which is essential in being able to deliver services which are truly beneficial to the people we wish to work with.

My vision for the Foundation is to continue and progress its research work in relevant areas so as to enable it to provide informed debate on important social issues in the hope that we can make a real difference in people’s lives. As for the centre, I want it to continue to provide support in a nurturing environment and widen the scope of the activities and projects that it runs. I also wish for the centre to develop further the much needed opportunities that it offers to users and provide them with more long term benefits.”

lucy-buzzoni2

Lucy Buzzoni

I’m really happy to be a trustee of the Attlee Centre. I first became involved through supporting the board with a new 3 year business plan. This gave me a really fantastic insight into the work the centre does, how it’s viewed by its key users and stakeholders, as well as some of its main strategic challenges and opportunities.

I really hope through being a trustee of the Attlee Centre, I’ll be able to continue guiding and supporting the strategic direction of such a brilliant organisation.

I currently work in the public sector in strategy, digital, tech and innovation roles. Prior to this, I have been a strategy consultant for a number of years in Accenture Strategy, a transformation consultant, and worked in commercial, product, marketing and digital at British Telecom.

Amaya Wang Profile Photo 2017

Amaya Wang

I have lived in Tower Hamlets since 1999 with my family and am a mum to a 5 year old girl. I joined the Attlee Centre through a Tower Hamlets Volunteer Service trustee match programme. The play focus immediately resonated with me on many levels, including my background in contemporary dance improvisation. I work for the V&A, the world’s leading museum of art, design and performance which connects to the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green.  

 

I bring several years’ experience of arts marketing and an inquisitive mind as well as that of bringing up my daughter in Tower Hamlets. In the past, I have volunteered for British and National Maritime Museums. I am also a keen advocate to empower girls and women with the hope to achieve equality sometime soon. 

 

Playing is important to me because it is an active rest. It needs a playful mindset, with bounds of options to pair the unexpected, to connect with fellow players in the moment and beyond and to create something more than the individual parts. Facilitating play is important to me because it is thrilling to be able to create play spaces and moments that bring excitement, joy and laughter and total focus while playing. 

 

As a Trustee, I want to make a difference by creating play opportunities for Tower Hamlets kids and their families that empower and foster creativity in young minds as this will be what propels our society forward to tackle the big questions and challenges of the future. 

 

As a child, I loved playing with and observing snails, building dens and a dance game “filling spaces.” Now, I love roleplaying with my daughter.  

martin_young

Martin Young

“I am a barrister in private practice. I graduated in law from Queen Mary College and have been a resident in East London since 1977, serving as a Councillor for LB Tower Hamlets from 1994, as well as holding positions as Chair of the Standards Panel, the LDDC Exit Strategy Board and Vice-Chair of the Regeneration Committee. I was a member of the Housing Committee throughout both terms of office.

Following my retirement from public office in 2002 I then joined the shadow board of EastEnd Homes as a community, then independent member, and have been Chair of the main Board since registration and the incorporation of the company in 2005.

I also serve on the Board of several local charities apart from the Attlee Foundation and am a past Deputy Chair of the Isle of Dogs Community Foundation.

I am keen to see the Attlee Foundation build upon the establishment of the AYCC on a national and international basis in ways which continue to realise the vision and values of Clement Attlee.”

My experience as chief executive and trustee of numerous voluntary sector organisations enables me to bring management skills and vision to the Foundation. This is particularly useful because of my work with women and young people from different ethnic and economic backgrounds.

I hope for Attlee to be a lead organisation in both demonstrating best practice in children and families support services and influencing local and national policy.”

Sam

Samantha Howland

I joined the Attlee Centre board of trustees in October 2019, and I am thrilled to be part of the team. I found the Centre through an event hosted by the East London Business Alliance and, as soon as I heard Tania speak about the work the organisation does, I knew I wanted to get involved. I feel incredibly privileged to be able to contribute to an organisation that is so passionate about giving back to the community it exists within. In particular, the focus on the importance of play and ensuring that kids get the chance to be kids really resonates – I loved playing as a child and was forever climbing trees – it is great to be a part of providing services that will hopefully bring children the same joy! 

 

I currently work as a manager in the public sector with a focus on financial regulation, technology and cyber. I hope that my skills are able to contribute to the ongoing provision of services by the Centre. 

Careers

Work for us

Work experience and apprenticeships