The Bristol Bike Project has long enjoyed a fruitful friendship with The APE Project, who do fantastic work supporting children to explore the world of play, creativity and their environment. When we get donations of children’s bikes, we hand them over for their award-winning Children’s Bike Exchange, where kids bring old or broken bikes and exchange them for safe ones at very low cost. Our friends at APE have taken on the mammoth and inspiring task of keeping St Paul’s Adventure Playground open, with a vision to develop this amazing space to offer free open access play alongside den-making sessions, gardening, willow-weaving, printmaking workshops, creative arts, woodwork, and bike mechanics. Please help them raise £30,000 to turn this vision into reality! See below for more info.
The following is taken from APE’s Just Giving page…
The St Paul’s Adventure Playground next to the M32 in Bristol has been taken over by 2 local artists after the council decided they could no longer afford the high costs of running the site. The duo, who together form The APE Project – a local innovative kids play organisation, have decided to take on the challenge of saving the playground in order to continue to provide safe, adventurous, free play for kids from all backgrounds all over the city. APE have taken the Adventure Playground over from Bristol City Council entirely unfunded, with a fantastic vision and incredible groundswell of support from the local community. We are crowdfunding to raise £30,000 towards this project…
The Playground’s History
The Playground used to be a vibrant community hub in the heart of St Paul’s but is now in real need of some TLC in order to fully support local kids, young people, and parents by providing a safe, nourishing play space – the only properly equipped outdoor playground in the area. Local mums, dads, and carers – many of whom grew up on the playground – are desperate to breathe life back into the place and create a warm, welcoming environment for their children to spend time after-school, on the weekends, and during the holidays.
We believe play is essential to every child’s physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing and are devoted to creating a climate of openness, nurturing, and kindness, where children and families can come to relax, play and learn something new – both practical and creative. Through play children build up a sense of identity, social awareness, resilience, and self-worth. APE are in the process of renovating the old and dilapidated site into a fully functioning, colourful, and inviting indoor/outdoor play space, art rooms, youth-run bakery, and community bike workshop. Our aim is to give young people new skills, help them develop self-confidence and ambition for the future, and effectively divert vulnerable children and youth away from antisocial pursuits. Children and young people will be able to try new things including willow-weaving, fire making, gardening, woodwork, metal work, mechanics, print making, and more. The playground will provide a vital support network for struggling families and individuals, including mums groups, young offender’s rehabilitation, local at-risk men’s groups, and intergenerational projects.
At present, the playground is severely understaffed, under-resourced and in real need of funding in order to survive. Government support for youth and play has been completely withdrawn due to cuts – another example of the damaging effects of austerity on some of the UK’s most in-need families. Your donations and support will go towards staffing costs to keep the playground open everyday and enable us to continue to provide open access play for free. We believe every child and young person deserves the chance at a brighter future and families deserve to know their children are safe and happy. Our playworkers are dedicated to creating a safe, nurturing, and positive environment for kids and young people to develop and grow.
What will your money do?
Your donations will help make sure we can re-open the Playground, after crucial refurbishment work has taken place, as planned on Thursday 28th September. This is an exciting but challenging time for the Adventure Playground, and every penny counts! Your generosity will mean we can operate a 3 day a week service in a better resourced, clean, safe, and stimulating environment with fully trained and qualified staff. We believe in people power and the better the team, the better the outcome
See you there!
APE are working hard to secure funds for the long term but in the meantime will be running a skeleton service from the adventure playground over the next few months. We will be open from 3:30-6:30pm on Thursdays and Fridays and on Saturday from 2:00-6:30pm from 28th September. Follow our APE facebook and APE Twitter pages for regular updates and we look forward to seeing you all there!
Click here for more information