We’re The Vench, a much-loved adventure playground and community centre in the heart of Lockleaze. For over 45 years we’ve been inspiring imaginative play in a supportive and fun environment to help children and young people learn and grow. We believe in the importance of providing communities with safe places where they can meet, play and connect. Working with our partners we offer a range of activities and experiences to build resilience and confidence in the young people and families that we support, as well as providing an engaging space for adults, businesses and the wider community.
We want The Vench to be a space that our community is proud to use and support, and we aspire to become as accessible and inclusive as possible. Despite extensive cuts to the youth and play sector in Bristol, all of our services are currently free to use, but we rely on volunteers, partner organisations and grant funding to keep our centre and playground open and running regularly. We are looking at ways to become more financially stable and by creating a sustainable business model that makes the best use all of our facilities, we will generate ongoing revenue that will help us to continue running for years to come.
What You're Funding
We’ve worked with the local community and our partners to identify four aims:
1- Improving our playground
We will repair existing damaged equipment like our much loved zip wire, add new elements for younger children like a sand and water play area, and paint and improve our wooden structures to make them brighter and better.
2 - Redecorating our playroom
We will redecorate our playroom to make it a brighter, more user friendly and multi-purpose space. By updating the furniture and storage units our play and craft sessions will be easier to run and we will have a better space for families to spend time together. By providing facilities for young children, including a play space for babies and toddlers, we hope to make visits smoother and more enjoyable for all ages. As part of our update, we will also be re-decorating our toilets including re-opening our disabled toilet and fitting a new baby changing unit.
3 - Running a playworker training day
We rely on trained staff and volunteers and already have a fantastic group of regular volunteers who help out with lunch clubs, gardening and more. However, we want to expand our team by providing more opportunities for local residents to get involved with volunteering at the Vench. Playworker training will put us in a better position to provide run additional sessions while providing opportunities for developing volunteers’ employability skills.
4 - Transforming the front of the building
The front of the Vench is a little uninspiring – we want the community to feel excited and proud when they come to the Vench, so we will commission a piece of unique artwork by Bristol artist Andy Council. Andy paints beasts and creatures that incorporate local architectural landmarks and he will be making us our very own ‘Lockleaze monster’ to feature on the front of our building.
Your support is an invaluable part of our ongoing journey and to say thank you we have a selection of wonderful rewards, ranging from entry into our prize draw through to a pizza party for up to 10 people. Check out our rewards list for more information! By helping to fund our project, you will be enabling us to continue providing free play sessions for children and young people and a safe place for the community to play, learn and grow for generations to come.
If you’re not able to donate but still want to get involved then why not get the word out? Share our crowdfunder page on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, tag us with #supportthevench, or even WhatsApp the link to your friends and family!
Thank you so much for your support!