Supporting Children through Sport

by Kate Williams in Bristol, Bristol City, United Kingdom


raised so far



We are seeking funding to pay for a PT Sports Specialist Playworker to support children after the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.

by Kate Williams in Bristol, Bristol City, United Kingdom

Who we are:

APE is an acronym for Art, Play, Environment and these are the three key principles that drive our mission to enhance the lives of children and young people through the provision of open access freely chosen play opportunities and quality activities.

We aim to deliver supportive environments and workshops for children and young people promoting creative problem solving, sense of self worth, co-operative learning, resilience, risk taking, and development of social skills. We provide stimulating, challenging, exciting and educational experiences in a safe open space where children feel valued and supported.

St. Pauls and the Adventure Playground - In 2017 the APE Project took on the management and running of St. Pauls Adventure Playground through a Community Asset Transfer from Bristol City Council.  Our playground is a space where people come together - a neutral family focused centre, which helps people makes friends, breaks down barriers and eases tensions between disparate communities. We open the gates to St Pauls Adventure Playground 4 days a week and welcome around 150+ children to play, meet, make, experiment, get creative, eat and find support.  Since the adventure playground was taken over by the APE Project, we have grown from 12 registered families to over 700.

Recent monitoring shows that: 

  • 70% of our users are classed as BME / 40% identify as Somali or Somali British 
  • over 50% live in social housing / 40% of users live in flats
  • 32% are single parent families and 49% are in receipt of benefits

The Funding Ask

The APE Project is seeking full or part funding to pay for a PT Sports Specialist Playworker to join our team to facilitate the following activities at the Adventure Playground: football, basketball, cycling, calisthenics and circus skills. They will also act as an advocate for sport and sign post children and families to other sport opportunities and activities around the city.


We want to reach out to children that have been adversely affected by the pandemic - particularly those in high rise flats and inner-city areas.  In a recent report monitoring responses from Bristol children about the Covid pandemic, young people commented that one of the biggest struggles they faced was with the lack of normal extra curricular and sporting activities (Bristol City Youth Council Report oct 20). This monitoring demonstrated that 33% of children felt more anxious and that 42% felt their mental health had deteriorated (particularly from isolation). Research shows that engaging in physical activities and sport can have a positive impact on the resilience and wellbeing of children and young people, including building self-confidence and their ability to form positive relationships. 

We believe this role will help us to reach out the most vulnerable and disadvantaged and support them through the development of key skills and the promotion of physical activities. Our work will help to develop co-ordination and social skills and ensure inclusivity for disabled and disadvantaged children. The postholder will have a Mental Health level 2 qualification to help support children suffering following the lockdown and Covid crisis.


  • Improved confidence /self esteem
  • Improved emotional wellbeing and physical health
  • Identify personal goals
  • Improve skills for life and work
  • Build new friendships and increase connections with others
  • Develop a sense of control of their lives
  • Positively contribute to their communities
  • Break down cultural barriers and encourage teamwork
  • Combats problems of youth crime and anti-social behaviour by giving purpose, structure and developing skills
  • Helps young people make positive choices and engages them in constructive activities


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