Karen started her post at Aberdeen Play Forum in 2016. Prior to becoming a Development Worker, Karen worked with many schools throughout the city, specialising in additional support needs and inclusion. Before officially joining Aberdeen Play Forum, Karen worked with us on our Woodland Play Scheme in 2014 and 2015, and is looking forward to taking a more active role this year. Away from the office she enjoys getting outdoors whenever possible, including travelling and walking her dog.

Karen Shepherd - Play Development Worker


Hannah Gibbs - Play Ranger


Melanie joined Aberdeen Play Forum in August 2017.  Melanie for many years worked as an Early Years Practitioner within Childcare settings across Aberdeen.  Melanie also specialises in working closely with children with additional support needs.  Melanie is a qualified Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer and enjoys keeping fit.  She strongly believes in the benefits of free play and risky play and would like to see other youngsters having the experiences she did as a child. Out of work, Melanie enjoys Hill walking, Socialising and Travelling. 



Mary has supported Aberdeen Play Forum in the capacity of chair and vice chair for almost 15 years.  Mary firmly believes that children should experience the same freedom to play as she did as a child.  The evidence is clear that children today have less opportunity for outdoor play than previous generations.

​The Play Forum is therefore vitally important to improving play environments and opportunities for free play in Aberdeen.  In her day job Mary is the Service Manager for Aberlour Futures.  As a member of the Play Forum, Aberlour (Scottish Children's Charity) provides the employment and line management of the Play Development Worker and Play Ranger posts.

Stuart has been involved with Aberdeen Play Forum for many years and for the last 3 as chair. Stuart's key priority for Aberdeen Play Forum is to ensure that all children in Aberdeen have access to high quality play spaces and opportunities.  Stuart's day job is Early Years Manager with Aberdeen City Council.  Previous to this Stuart has worked in a number of communities throughout Scotland, in a variety of roles.  His work has most significantly involved building community capacity, facilitating the involvement of children in the life of their own communities, and seeking to improve the life chances of disadvantaged, disengaged or vulnerable children and families.

Hannah recently graduated from Aberdeen University with a degree in Anthropology, and is currently working towards her SVQ level 3  in Play Work  Hannah joined Play Forum in August 2014 as a play ranger, taking on the role of Play Development Worker in 2016. Hannah has work experience in science research, at an outdoor animal rescue centre and also in working with children with multiple support needs. She delivers free play sessions in schools, at Clinterty Travelling People's Site, and at events for families. Away from work Hannah enjoys getting outdoors whenever possible,  including rock climbing, camping, and hill walking.

Mary Crear - Vice-Chair

01224 764554 


Melanie Jaffrey  - Play Development Worker

Stuart Patterson - Chair