OPAL Midlands


OPAL Midlands is a regional office of OPAL, established in the Home Counties to give easier access and support for schools, early years settings and organisations located in the London, East and South-East area of England. Neil Coleman, who runs OPAL Midlands, trained alongside Michael to become an accredited OPAL Mentor in early 2013. Neil is able to offer all OPAL services.

OPAL Midlands is currently working with:

  • St Olave’s Prep School, New Eltham, London
  • St. Thomas’s RC Primary, Sevenoaks, Kent
  • West Hill Primary, Dartford, Kent
  • West Lodge Primary, Pinner, London
  • Four more schools will start the programme in 2017

Michael Follett devised the concept and Neil Coleman wrote the project brief for a major school grounds capital project at Soho Parish School, Westminster, London. See all about it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yelN-wMl-Cg&t=20s

Please use the main contact form to contact OPAL Midlands.

Neil’s Background

After more than twenty years of managing maintenance contract staff Neil became a Parks and Green Spaces Officer overseeing a Green Flag award winning park with one million annual visitors for a large local authority just outside London.

During his eleven years at the council he was asked to take responsibility for the management and redevelopment of over 40 play areas. It was this work that first brought him into contact with Play England.

Neil became Play England’s Project Officer in 2009 and amongst many different duties he ran the national Play Design Forum, which met at various locations around the country and included representatives from local councils, play equipment manufacturers and independent play experts. Neil later became a board trustee of Play England, now an independent charity.

Neil attends the UK Play Safety Forum and is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood, which meets monthly at the Houses of Parliament. Meetings are co-Chaired by Baroness Floella Benjamin.