King Charles III has conferred the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) honour on a mother-and-daughter team of UK nationals who founded the Harmanli Refugee Camp Play School in Bulgaria.
The award, for services to the humanitarian support of refugee children in Bulgaria, was announced in the New Year Honours 2023 Overseas and International List.
Gilian Clasby and Sadie Clasby-Jarrous founded the play school, in southern Bulgaria, in November 2014 as a play-based learning and therapeutic play centre.
According to the play school’s Facebook page “we are a mother and daughter team from England who are using our experiences and qualifications in childcare and education to run a play based school, where refugee children can learn, develop and overcome trauma through therapeutic play experiences”.
Gilian Clasby is a qualified nursery nurse and playworker with more than 20 years of experience in working with children in and out of school. She is the owner of a successful after school and holiday club in England which was rated outstanding by Ofsted.
Sadie Clasby – Jarrous is a qualified primary school teacher with years of experience in working as a qualified playworker.
“Between us we have also received training and qualifications in; child protection, English as an additional language, special educational needs, behaviour management, bereavement counselling and first aid.”
The play school has been kept open through crowdfunding.