Building friendships, Brick-by-Brick
The Brick-by-Brick™ programme is a fun, child-led, learning-through-play concept involving collaborative play with LEGO® bricks. The programme is designed for young people who need extra support with social communication, language and friendships such as young people on the autism spectrum. Through their strengths and shared interest in LEGO models, young people start to make friends and build relationships, all whilst having fun.
Play Included is a social enterprise and a LEGO Foundation partner. We act as a Learning Centre, ensuring young people achieve the best outcomes through expert training, resources, partnerships and research – connecting young people, families and professionals in our growing community.
A small team with a big ambition
We believe that all young people can thrive by learning through play. We are a small team of experts working together to make a big difference, brick by brick. We aspire to be a place where people can come together to share new ideas, best practice and support each other to create the best possible outcomes for young people.
Bringing together years of experience in child development, mental health and education, we specialize in supporting young people on the autism spectrum, as well as any young person who needs support to develop socially. We started out as Bricks for Autism, but soon realized our approach may help more young people to develop their social communication, language and emotional wellbeing. That’s why we are now called Play Included.
HCPC registered Clinical Psychologist, Founder & Director
Dr. Gina Gómez de la Cuesta
Dr. Gina Gomez de la Cuesta
Clinical Psychologist, Founder & Director
Gina founded Play Included C.I.C. in 2018, supported by the Cambridge Social Ventures incubator programme at the University of Cambridge. Gina has developed training and resources in the Brick-by-Brick™ programme having studied LEGO® based therapy for her PhD at Cambridge University Autism Research Centre. She is a co-author of the LEGO based therapy manual. Gina completed her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of East Anglia and has done PGCE teacher training. Gina continues to be involved with academic research as well as clinical practice in the NHS, specialising in autism and child and adolescent mental health. She loves singing, cooking and travelling to Spain. She would like to do more gardening and pilates, but she also likes vegging out watching Netflix! Gina is passionate about supporting every child’s development through play, including her own two children, who are also big fans of LEGO bricks.
HCPC registered Child and Educational Psychologist, Director
Dr Elinor Brett
Dr. Elinor Brett
Child & Educational Psychologist, Director
Elinor has over 10 years’ experience supporting young people with special educational needs. She gained a doctorate in Child, Community and Educational Psychology from the University of Exeter in 2013. As part of her doctoral training, she researched the use of LEGO bricks to support autistic young people in mainstream schools and has been training facilitators ever since. Working as an Educational Psychologist in a local authority since 2013, she brings her experience of supporting young people in educational settings to both the programme and organisation. Elinor loves playing with LEGO bricks and DUPLO at home with her own children.
Project & Operations Manager
Projects and Operations Manager
After 14 years in the Housing industry, Sabrina wanted to work for an organisation that was making a positive impact on people’s lives. In 2019, Sabrina joined Play Included, which fit the bill perfectly. Her Project Management background lends itself to her current role, as does her love for LEGO models. Never afraid to take on a challenge, Sabrina has even played rugby at Twickenham Stadium.
Training & development specialist
Training & Development Specialist
Abigail is a passionate facilitator and professional trainer. With over 25 years’ experience in training, development and coaching in sport, business, and education, she was trained by Gina in LEGO based therapy in 2016. Soon after she began running school and community-based Brick Clubs. Abigail has also been involved in the delivery of training for the I-SOCIALISE research trial, the first large-scale randomised controlled trial evaluating the Brick-by-Brick™ programme. In her spare time she enjoys coaching cricket, cycling, and playing with LEGO models at home with her family.
Jane is an experienced Office Administrator and has worked across various business sectors before bringing her expertise to Play Included. She divides her spare time between her role as Adjutant for her local Air Cadet Squadron and rescuing German Shepherds.