Play  and Creative Arts in central Gloucester - opening August 2024

At Play Away Ltd, the therapeutic power of play is used to nurture mental health. The child-centred, non-directive approach creates a safe, supportive and imaginative space for growth and healing.

The Power of Play

Play is the child's natural mode of communication to express their feelings and thoughts. Within their play world, issues can become more manageable to face, express and address. Within play therapy, the play is the vehicle of change through the therapist's skilled interactions, reflections and integration of relevant approaches.     

SERVICES OFFERED For Individual Clients


  • 1:1 play therapy/creative arts therapy
  • parent advice/consultations
  • professional advice/consultations/training
  • attendance at professionals/multi-agency meetings 
  • SEND strategies advice/training/navigating systems eg EHCPs 




How does play therapy/creative arts therapy help?

Developmentally appropriate, play and creative arts therapy helps the child/young person build trust, self-image, acceptance, boundaries and reflectiveness.

  •  It can lead to greater confidence recognizing, identifying and expressing thoughts and feelings due to the emotional awareness created within sessions.
  • Improve  self-esteem 
  • Create empowerment through realizing effects of own choices and actions.
  • Become more positive about how others perceive them through the relationship with the therapist, who will always display unconditional positive regard for them. 


What can play therapy/creative arts therapy help with?

It can help with: 

  • trauma
  • anxiety
  • attachment issues
  • self-esteem/self-image
  • confidence
  • emotional regulation

 although the list is not exhaustive.


When issues may be related to neurodiversity, I have extensive lived experience  (and previous professional experience) in this field and employ a neurodiversity affirming practice coupled with knowledge of EHCPs, SENDIST tribunals, Child in Need plans etc.




Melissa Alway  Background & Qualifications

BA(Hons.), PGCE, MA, NASENCO, MSc Play Therapy                                  I was a secondary school teacher for over 20 years, and became a primary school SENCo as I am committed to early identification and support of SEND. I became aware of the need for specialist mental health support for children and young people and trained as a BAPT registered play therapist.                                                       I have extensive lived experience of:
autism, PDA, sensory integration issues, anxiety, restricted eating, sleep issues, dyspraxia, PTSD. I have considerable experience navigating SEND systems eg EHCPs/ Annual Reviews/ SENDIST tribunal etc.                                                                      I open 2/8/24.


BAPT registered qualified play therapist

DBS (enhanced)


Play Away Ltd can help with  . . . 

At Play Away Ltd., I  believe in the magic of play therapy to unlock emotions, promote self-expression, and nurture inner growth. I support children/young people, families, schools and other professionals in exploring and understanding a wide array of presenting issues and ways to improve well-being for the child/young person.

Referral method

Parents/carers can make a direct referral. 

Professionals (school staff, social workers etc) can refer, but consent from parents/carers/those with parental responsibility will be needed before session can commence.

I welcome all enquiries and fully understand the need for parents/professionals to research potential therapists, without obligation, before making a choice. The right fit is essential.

The playroom and sessions

The play room is well-stocked with a multitude of toys/items/art materials recommended as staples within therapy for children/young people to be able to express themselves in chosen ways. These remain the same throughout sessions to foster a known and safe environment.                                                                                                                                                                                     Sessions are weekly on the same day/time and last for 45 mins. Free parking is available onsite. The playroom is on the ground floor and a seating area for parents/carers is outside the playroom. 




Get in touch

Telephone: 07450884644


Address: Unit 26/3 Play Away Ltd, Morelands Trading Estate, Gloucester, GL1 5RZ, United Kingdom

Company number: 15728780

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