Meet the Team.



We are really committed to providing excellent early years education and care and as part of this, our staff regularly attend training courses on a whole range of subjects. Not only is this important for their ongoing professional development but it ensures that Playgroup is consistently furthering and enhancing skills and expertise in all areas of pre-school care and education as well as keeping up to date with new developments.

Helen Goodman is our manager and has been working for West End Playgroup since 2005. Helen has a BA Hons. in Early Years Teaching, an HNC in Business and Finance, a paediatric first aid certificate and has attended many courses including Surreys Safeguarding Children’s Board modules 1 & 2, Safer Recruitment for Managers, Forest School Leader and Continuous Quality Improvement. Helen has three children all of whom attended the playgroup.

Julie Simmonds is deputy manager and has worked at West End Playgroup since 1999. Julie’s responsibilities include Health & Safety & Child Protection (Safeguarding children). Julie has an NNEB is a qualified Child Protection Liaison Officer (CPLO) and holds a current paediatric first aid certificate. Julie has completed numerous courses including Key Person & Attachment, Persona Dolls, Books & the Book Areas and Developing Quality Through Staff. Julie has two grown up sons and lives in Walton on Thames.

Tessa Badcock joined us at West End Playgroup in 2000. Tessa has a Diploma in Pre-school Practice and is our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO). Tessa attends all the meetings relating to special needs and other training including Developing Quality Through Leadership, Block Play and Bereavement & Loss. She is responsible for the curriculum planning as well as being a qualified paediatric first aider. Tessa lives in Walton on Thames and has three children.

Kate O’Halleran joined playgroup in June 2007. Kate has an NVQ3 in Children’s Care, Learning & Development . She is a qualified paediatric first aider and has attended many courses including Forest school leader, Behaviour Development, Social Injustice in Early Childhood and Loving & Nurturing Relationships with Under 3’s. Kate runs our famous ‘Cooking with Kate’ sessions every Thursday and produces amazing results with the children. Kate has two children.

Lizzie Coffee joined us in April 2002. She has an NVQ3 in Children’s Care, Learning & Development and has attended a vast array of courses including Behaviour Management, Safeguarding, Loving & Nurturing Relationships with the Under 3’s, Brain Gym and having attended a course in Yoga for Children is keen to encourage the children (and staff!) to learn breathing & calming techniques. Lizzie has three children.

Jo Weston-Jones joined us February 2012. Jo is one of the forest school team and she has a BA hons degree in Early Years Childcare and will be taking her Forest School Leader qualification in November 2017.  Jo has three teenage children.


Holly Hall joined the staff team in April 2013 having previously worked in a local school nursery.   Holly is a level 3 qualified childcare practitioner and has two children.

Shilpa Shah joined the team in April 2013.  Shilpa is an experienced playgroup practitioner with an NVQ3 in Childrens Care Learning and Development.  Shilpa has two children.

Aleya Uddin holds a Foundation Degree in Early Years Care and Learning and currently divides her time between West End Playgroup and Rowan Preparatory School.  Aleya has three children.

Jess Lloyd joined the team after a period of volunteering as one of our parent helpers in April 2013.  Jess holds a level 3 in Children’s Care, Learning & Development.  Jess’s son attended West End Playgroup.

Sam Taylor joined the team in September 2013 being one of our former 'mums'.  Sam has also acheived a Level 3 in Children's Care, Learning & Development.  Sam has four children of her own.