Wider World is a charity working with children and young people in Bristol.
Wider World is a charity working with children and young people in Bristol. They work with children aged 8–12 whose families may not be able to access the out-of-school enrichment activities that many take for granted. ‘Our aim is to build those essential life skills that come from a broad range of experiences and activities – confidence, resilience, leadership,’ explains Jonothan Hope, Director and Programme Manager at Wider World.
‘We work with schools in Bristol who refer disadvantaged children whom they believe will get the most out of the programme. Over a seven-month period, the participants have thirteen activity days – each of which involves two enrichment activities. These include museum visits including We the Curious, M-Shed (history of Bristol) and Bristol Museum, ice skating, Bristol Zoo & Wild Place conservation park, indoor and outdoor climbing, kayaking in Bristol harbour and Bristol Scrapstore.
‘There are also trips to work environments – like a police station, BBC Bristol and Bristol University – helping participants broaden their aspirations and envisage a positive future. ‘All participants self-select target skills they – and their parents and teachers – would like to develop. Group leaders and trip volunteers provide feedback on their progress in real time, present awards and a final personalised report at the end of the programme for each participant. Over the course of the programme, we see the children building life skills that help them prosper throughout their childhood, teens and later life – curiosity, self-belief, confidence, leadership and resilience.
‘Transport makes the whole thing work – it wouldn’t be possible without it. We use Bristol Community Transport to get to and from our trips out, but it goes beyond that. The journey is a real part of their experience – it creates an environment where everyone is sitting together, so our volunteers can share their stories and participants can explore what they have learned.’