Marguerite Hunter Blair
Marguerite Hunter Blair is Chief Executive of Play Scotland which promotes the importance of play and works strategically to create increased play opportunities for all children and young people. She established the Scottish Play Commission and led the campaigns for Scotland’s Play Strategy (2013) and a statutory duty for Play in the Planning Act (2019).
Marguerite is Chair of Scotland’s Play Council Strategy Group, and is Scotland’s representative on UK Play Safety Forum and UK Children’s Play Policy Forum. She is a member of SW/65 – BSI committee for children’s playgrounds standards (EN 1176 series) and a trustee of Fields in Trust Scotland, PAS (Planning Aid Scotland), Licketyspit and IPA Scotland.
Cherie is Director of Projects at Play Scotland. Her role is to work with partners to develop and lead projects that will improve children’s opportunities for play in their local community, with a focus on co-creation and action research. Cherie has delivered training throughout Scotland, and worked with the Care Inspectorate with many of their best practice resources.
Previously, Cherie was the Strategic Play Development Worker with Aberdeen Play Forum and was lead officer on a community capacity building project in a regeneration area in Aberdeen, the “Seaton Backies” project which saw huge success in the community taking ownership and improving their own play spaces.
Before that Cherie worked for Children 1st and Aberdeen College in roles that involved supporting parents and training. Cherie is very interested in the learning and development of children through play; however, she is very keen to advocate for play as vital to children’s positive mental health and wellbeing. Cherie has qualifications in childcare and education, and holds a BA in Childhood Practice.
Jenny Lester is the Learning and Development Officer at Play Scotland. She works to develop training and resources for practitioners, families, and those interested in play more broadly. Jenny volunteers with the Girl Guides and as a Play Worker. She has a background in project management, events, and communications at mental health charities and women’s charities. Jenny studied Politics, before completing a Masters in Women’s Studies. In her spare time, she is a poet, Gaelic learner, and Dungeons and Dragons enthusiast.
Lucy Gibbons is the Digital Membership and Services Officer at Play Scotland. She works to advance membership growth, participation, and satisfaction. She is also developing Play Scotland’s digital services.
Previously, she worked in the Middle East and Asia as a teacher and is a big proponent of play-based learning. Lucy is keen advocate of inclusion and access, with interests in disabled access and inclusive communication. She studied anthropology before completing a master’s degree in museum education. Outside of work, Lucy sings off-key in a choir, meditates, and creates contemporary cross-stitch.
Simon initially studied for a sports degree, followed immediately by a post graduate certificate in youth and community work. His career progressed within social work, supporting extremely vulnerable children and young people: firstly as a young people’s support worker and then managing a children’s home. Having survived this he made the jump back to community education, as a senior Community Learning and Development worker, leading generic community work and specialist youth work teams in community and secondary school settings.
During his own time he campaigned against increasing restrictions on young people’s free movement in public spaces and started a part-time PhD in Education (University of Strathclyde). His thesis explores childhood freedoms, licences and their impact on developing selfhood. Further study resulted in a PgCert in Strategic Leadership (Glasgow Caledonian University). Simon also served as a Play Scotland board member for around 10 years.
He left local authority employment in 2019 and since then has been self-employed, supervising and assessing Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expeditions and working with Glasgow Community Food Network to address food insecurity during the Covid lockdown.
For his sins, Simon still leads a Glaswegian Beaver Scout colony every Tuesday evening. This ‘challenge’ is in fact great fun!
Sammy Wyeth is the Information and Communications Officer at Play Scotland. She leads the organisation’s social media strategy whereby she launches and manages projects and campaigns that promote children’s right to play. She maintains and updates the website and undertakes administrative duties. She is currently studying Law with French. She enjoys reading, improving her French, and exercising.