Meet The PLG Team
Name: Gary Bonehill
I set up my own hire company in late 2012 and hired inflatables to private households. I then expanded into schools and colleges offering packages and arranging fundays within the local community.
I am involved in providing sensory equipment for local charities to enhance the learning of children with disabilities and special needs which I find very rewarding and feel that this industry has something to offer everyone.
I became a PIPA Inspector in mid 2013 with the view of improving safety standards. Over this time I’ve offered advice to others within the industry on how to operate safely.
Name: Matthew Sweed
I first entered the industry via fully enclosed play some 30 years ago, both installing and maintaining.
Around 20 years ago I started repairing inflatables. Since then as a small family based business we have worked on just about every type of inflatable other than air ships and weather balloons. We also still have an active role in fully enclosed play and various types of sports and gymnastic equipment.
I joined PIPA several years ago and a little later joined the PIPA Leadership Group when it was first formed. I am part of the Governance & Compliance Group and had an active role in writing the scheme’s rules, terms and articles for PLG membership and now look to provide guidance notes and information bulletins.
I try to help provide a fair and supportive approach to assist inspectors through investigation
processes when complaints are received.
I have a wealth of industry experience and hold both the NEBOSH certificate and national diplomas. These place me in a good position to help advise PIPA and its members with regard to health and safety law and practices.
Name: Peter Grand
I have owner Grand Affairs since 1988 and operated an events company with inflatables, games etc until 2004. I then ran INPA Magazine and then INPAS exhibition. I also run The Inflatable Play Enterprise (TIPE) which is an advisory service.
I became a PIPA inspector in 2010 and now focus on inspections and training in the inflatable play industry.
I joined the inaugural industry advisory group in 2001 and sat on the PIPA advisory panel from 2002. I am currently a member of the PIPA Leadership Group sitting on the Training and Development Group.
With over 20 years of PIPA service and representing all industry sectors I am always available on the telephone or email to offer help and advice to industry colleagues.
Name: Lee Scott
I am the Director of Betterbounce Direct, a manufacturer of bouncy castles and inflatables, operating in the UK for over 35 years & founder of Funbounce entertainments. One of the country’s largest and longest established hire companies. I joined the world of inflatables age 18, with a small, part time, back garden hire company which grew over 20 years to a nationwide entertainment company and a worldwide manufacturer of inflatables.
After qualifying as a structural engineer from Leeds University, I decided to put the skills from my career in highway and bridge design into the manufacture of inflatables and have never looked back.
I joined the PLG as a guest in 2018, hoping to help make a difference to the industry and improve PIPA as a brand and in its relationship with the manufacturers & wider industry. I currently sits on the Press, Communications & Events group and I am happy to help if you wish to approach me directly.
Name: Chris Keen
Director of AAA Inflatables Ltd, Inflatebounce Ltd and Bouncy Castle hire Ltd. I am an importer of inflatables with 15 years’ experience of bouncy castles. AAA Inflatables Ltd is a sales, corporate hirer, repairer and PIPA safety testing company.
Inflatebounce Ltd is a large indoor inflatable play centre that I has owned and operated for 3 years. Bouncy Castle Hire Ltd offers standard garden hire services.
I have been a registered PIPA inspector for over 10 years. I am a Director of the PIPA testing scheme and serve on the Training Working Group.
Name: Clive Ellis
I served an apprenticeship in fabrication and welding with Ford Motor Company after leaving full time education which gave me practical experience of flat materials design and a detailed understanding of airflow in ducting design.
Whilst with Ford I continued my training, following a path of Mechanical and Production Engineering. In 1986 I changed direction and took an opportunity to train as a Design Clay Modeler and did this for 5 years until I took the plunge and left industry to become self-employed.
I started in the leisure industry with a mobile Ice and Roller skating company in 1990. By 1992 I had expanded further by forming an event equipment hire company. I soon realised that there was a need for a local repairer of inflatables which led to the beginning of Essex Inflatable Repairs. I got involved in the inspection process as a ‘competent person’ in 1994 and perused and adopted the PIPA format of inspection soon after it began, working from what was then a draft standard.
I have been involved with the PIPA Inspection Scheme since the beginning and was invited to join the PIPA Leadership Group upon its inception. I have since accepted a position as one of the directors of PIPA, chairing the Governance and Compliance group.
I continue to help the scheme’s progress in raising standards within the industry and offer my knowledge and experience of 30 years.
Name: Mark John
I have a degree in strategic business fields and have worked in manufacturing since 2001. I have worked internationally throughout my business career and have a history of management through the family business. In 2003 I started Airquee with my business partner and we have grown it to over 300 employees with 140,000 square feet of manufacturing space.
In 2006, I became the chairman of PIPA and have worked closely with the HSE since then to improve standards in the inflatable industry.
I am also a member of WG9, the committee that writes and develops the BS EN 14960 inflatable standard.