The iconic St Paul’s Adventure Playground is set to undergo major refurbishments over the next couple of months and will be re-launched with an exciting new focus on children’s play, community arts, outdoor learning, and traditional crafts workshops. Local leaders in the field The APE Project were chosen by Bristol City Council to take over the Adventure Playground during their 10th anniversary year, as they celebrate a decade of success providing unique play activities such as Spin Painting, Smoothie Bikes, and Bicycle Powered Sound System, to children across Bristol and beyond. APE have been blown over by the incredible groundswell of support from the local community since taking on this venture, including local parents and residents, to well-known community organisations St Paul’s Nursery School and Children’s Centre, Catch 22, Imayla, and Friends of St Agnes Park, who will be working together to improve children’s and youth services in the area.
APE (Arts, Play, and Environment) believe passionately that play gives children a fantastic way of exploring the world, free from everyday rules and restrictions which get in the way of their creativity. It is through play that children learn to test their boundaries, make new friends, and develop self confidence. APE are using their vision to develop the playground and will be offering free open access play alongside den-making sessions, gardening, willow-weaving, printmaking workshops, creative arts, woodwork, and bike mechanics. Their award-winning Children’s Bike Exchange, where kids bring old or broken bikes and exchange them for safe ones at very low cost, will also be moving to the St Paul’s site. Funding has further been secured for bakery and barista facilities which will be used to train young people and sell coffee and baked goods to the local community.
However, the Adventure Playground has been handed over from the council with zero funding, at a time when government spending on youth and play has been cut completely. This presents a huge challenge for APE who are facing high running costs to keep the Playground open, but are working hard to secure financial backing for the long term. For the time being, APE will be running a skeleton service and will be open Thursdays & Fridays 3:30-6:30 pm, and Saturday 2:00-6:30pm over the next few months. Support from the community will be key in making this project a success and we are asking local people to read our justgiving page, share with their family and friends, and donate what they can: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/st-pauls- adventure-playground
We are also looking for people with either experience in play or the enthusiasm to learn to help by volunteering at play sessions. If you are interested in getting involved or want to know more, please contact The Playground on 01179 954 2145 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to sharing this journey with you and seeing you all there to enjoy Adventure Play!