Staff Profiles: Dr. Wendy Russell

Dr. Wendy Russell

Staff Profile: Dr. Wendy Russell
Senior Lecturer in Play and Playwork

Dr. Wendy Russell

Dr. Wendy Russell

Senior Lecturer in Play and Playwork

Performing Arts and Play

I discovered adventure playgrounds in the 1970s and was smitten. I’ve worked in the play sector ever since, in a number of roles, most recently in research and education.

Telephone: +44 (0)1242 715206 Email:


I discovered adventure playgrounds in the 1970s and was smitten, so I’ve worked in the play sector ever since. I’m interested in different perspectives on children’s play, and how adults can sometimes be limited by only seeing things one way. I’m lucky to have been able to work with organisations locally, nationally and internationally to support children’s right to play on their terms.


Award Title Institution Date
BA (Hons) French Lancaster University 1977
MEd. Human Relations University of Nottingham 1995
PGCert PGCHE University of Gloucestershire 2004
PhD The Dialectics of Playwork: An Ethnographic Study of Playwork using Cultural Historical Activity Theory University of Gloucestershire 2014

Membership of professional bodies


Teaching and research


Wendy teaches undergraduate & postgraduate online courses on Perspectives on Play, Perspectives on Playwork, Social Policy, Ethics. Her transdisciplinary approach draws on geography, philosophy & sociology as well as psychology & biology.


Undergraduate, Postgraduate


Commission by IPA to write paper (with Stuart Lester) to support campaign for a General Comment on article 31 of the UNCRCWelsh Government’s Play Sufficiency Duty (with Stuart Lester)Co-creating an Adventure Playground (with Stuart Lester & Hackney Play Association)Sharing Memories of Adventure Playgrounds  


More publications from Dr. Wendy Russell can be found in the Research Repository.

External responsibilities

Subjects for media interviews

Children's play

We kindly ask that media contacts wishing to speak to this member of staff do so through the University press office:

Professional positions

Member of editorial board of International Journal of Play; invited guest reviewer for Children, Children's Geographies, Leisure Studies.