We are a not for profit Community Interest Company. We are passionate about providing high-quality therapeutic play and creative arts therapy for children, specialised support for parents, and professional training. We believe all children have the right to access highly trained therapy services regardless of their circumstances. We offer a tiered approach to our service's cost to ensure all families can access vital support for their children.
- Children are at the centre of everything we do
- We accept every child and family exactly as they are
- We are playful
- We always create safe, welcoming spaces
- We never judge by maintaining a deep respect for everyone
- We work from heart to heart
- We never, ever give up.
We value the worth of all children’s mental health and believe that every child has the right to access appropriate level services despite their circumstances. We seek to promote the power of play to transform the mental health and well-being of children and families with emotional, social and behavioural issues by providing highly qualified therapeutic support and delivering professional training based on the latest neuroscience.
‘Bringing colour back into the lives of children and families across Northern Ireland’
Eileen grew up in a loving, nurturing home in the countryside of Northern Ireland; however, her dad had a severe mental health condition. She was fortunate to have lots of healing throughout her adult life. However, she does wonder what it could have been like to the support she needed as a child. Her experiences have given Eileen a genuine empathy and passion for helping families hold hard things and see children and families fully restored and lead emotionally healthy lives.
Eileen has over fifteen years working with children and families in the public sector; she experienced an increasing number of children and families around her struggling. Retraining as a play therapist Eileen opened her private business in 2018. It became apparent very quickly that there was a vital need for children to access high-level therapy services. Unfortunately, waiting lists for mental health services in Northern Ireland are ever-growing, and children’s conditions deteriorate when they have to wait for support. Eileen created a not for profit organisation to utilise her strategic experience to provide a service that every child can access.
Find out more about Eileen
Our Board of Directors
Eileen RussellCEO & Founder
As a professional play therapist, I have a big heart for children. In particular, I have a real passion for helping children and families hold hard things, seeing them from a new perspective, pulling out gold, and simply holding them in a place of hope. I have 15 years’ experience working strategically in the public sector across Northern Ireland, training staff and creating innovative tailor-made programmes for families throughout Northern Ireland.
I have a real passion to help people. I have many years of experience in fundraising and financial planning for various community organisations. I have over thirty years of experience running various businesses and retail shops.
Elaine DonnellyBoard Member
I have twenty-five years experience in roles in the community, education and public sectors and currently work in a charitable organisation that supports the early years. I love to see ideas become real initiatives and to be part of a journey that impacts people's lives - the vision, planning, process, development, working together and seeing results. I am a creative person who enjoys writing, scribbling and arty things!
Lauren LambertonBoard Member
I’m a play therapist, social worker and clinical supervisor passionate about supporting children and adolescent mental health. I’ve worked with children for 15 years in a variety of settings- statutory, community and education, both locally and internationally. I lecture on a number of mental health, play therapy and psychology University programmes and am completing a Doctorate in Social Work. A keen traveller, I’m often looking for the next adventure with my husband and three children.
James McCartneyBoard Member
James is married to Faith and they have to sons, Isaac and Simeon. James has worked in the hospitality industry since 1999 with experience in business management for social enterprises and charities. In 2017 he and his family moved to California where he attended Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. James has now taken up a new post with Awakening Europe as a full-time family missionaries whilst living in Lorrach, Southwest Germany.
Joanne NicholsonBoard Member
I'm a social worker with a background in psychology. I specialised in youth substance treatment and fostering. I'm passionate about early intervention, trauma-informed care and breaking intergenerational cycles of abuse. I enjoy piano, dancing and deep conversations over coffee.
Sarah ThompsonBoard Member
I am a wife and mum to three lovely children called Alfie, Nate and Aurthur. In 2019 I was awarded Parenting Blogger or the year at Social Media NI Awards. I have many years of experience working in retail. In 2020 I started a personalised clothing company with my husband Paul called Ted & Stitch.
Florence WalkerBoard Member
I am a wife and mother of two children and now the proud grandmother of four grandchildren. I have worked with preschool children since 1991, and I always felt that some children just needed a little something extra to help them develop to their full potential. I became so interested in healing trauma and other childhood issues through therapeutic play therapy that I started on my journey of becoming a fully qualified play therapist in 2017.