Bristol charity leaders hoping to unite with city’s business leaders to raise £1 million
Bristol charity leaders have issued a rallying call to CEOs to unite behind the city’s future workforce and boost play and youth facilities and support services for children and young people.
The appeal to raise £1 million in 2024 was made at a special event hosted by the Origin Foundation at Origin Workspace, Bristol, on Thursday, October 12.
The event celebrated the unveiling of a strategy for children and young people, co-produced in a pioneering collaboration between Bristol City Council and youth and play charities.
This is a ground-breaking UK approach, with all parties working towards the long-term collective goal of ensuring the city’s children and young people are never more than one mile away from play or youth facilities and targeted support seven days a week.
Playful Bristol and Youth Work Alliance is a collaborative group of 45 charities and not-for-profit bodies. The strategy has provided a clear picture of where gaps exist in provision across the city. The alliance is now seeking to address these gaps and match council investment.
Enterprises of all sizes across Bristol are being invited to contribute to the city-wide cause, backing the plan with either financial support or by sharing an array of skills, services, and expertise.
As well as donations, the organisers will welcome hands-on shows of support ranging from painting and decorating, fence-mending and roof repairs to professional services including marketing support, legal advice, and accountancy.
Gail Rogers, Head of Children’s Commissioning, Bristol City Council, said: “The work the sector had done allowed the council to take a different approach”.
Co-ordinators Rachel Robinson, Kirsty Wilson and Matt Justice said in a joint statement: “Bristol’s children and young people have a right to top-quality play and youth facilities and targeted support within reach of their homes. These are essential to physical, mental, and social development which is why they matter so much.
“By uniting with Playful Bristol and Youth Work Alliance, and sharing their skills and resources, our business community will ensure children and young people thrive in the here-and-now and into the future.”
Heather Frankham, Trustee of Origin Foundation, said: “It’s great to see a sector that has created a vision for what it wants to achieve. These organisations understand their communities and are passionate about making a positive difference.
“Funding is challenging so we must work creatively and through partnerships. Investing in children and young people will ensure Bristol can prosper for years to come, by bringing vitality and opportunity to our city.”
Bristol is a young, diverse, and growing city. According to the 2021 census, the city has a younger age profile than England and Wales with almost one in five aged under 16. There are more children aged up to 15 than people aged 65, which bucks the national trend towards an ageing population.
Bristol is also one of the UK’s fastest-growing cities, with a reputation for high-tech industry, innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship. It has consistently reported higher than average economic growth over the last 15 years.