what  we  do and  why   it  matters

“Best thing today was laughing with my friends.”

Priscilla's Story Click here to read a personal account

Abigail's Story Click here to read a personal account

 

Who  we  are

 A.P.P.L.E are a charity working with children, young people and their families. We are based at the ARTBLOCK in Acton Park opposite the Vale Estate in East Acton Ward in the London Borough of Ealing.

 

In 1996, a group of Acton based parents with young children (many of whom worked in Children’s,

Youth and Education services) identified a need for a safe, creative space for local families, somewhere to socialise and for interesting activities for the children and young people. Together we evolved a clear set of ideas on what resources our community needed to thrive and how to grow such an organisation to encompass the diverse groups and different needs that made up the neighbourhood.

We focused on families- nurturing children and young people seemed key to developing responsible and actively engaged young adults who would in turn contribute to their community.

 

A.P.P.L.E formed with a committee, constitution and bank account. Initially, we started with one off

projects funded by small grants – Awards for All and The Foundation for Sports and Arts. We added a Summer Art Project, a Summer Sport Project and a local carnival procession.

In 2003 we acquired the lease to the old toilet block in the park and set about refurbishing and

growing A.P.P.L.E.

 

What we  do

A.P.P.L.E provide out-of-school activities and events for children, young people and their families. While

we welcome everyone, (as no one knows when and how they may need help) A.P.P.L.E is there to

support those who are experiencing disadvantage or difficulties in their lives.

“ Your club was just the best thing that has happened to my family. Your staff provided activities,

sports, learning, trips. And most of all a lots of kindness and love. Every park should have one of these.

As a struggling single mum of 4 children I have never felt so welcomed as I did with you (A.P.P.L.E) . "

Parent – summer 2021

A.P.P.L.E. hold to the principles we started with through changing times, fashions, and fortunes.

The following are fundamental to A.P.P.L.E -

FREE- because we aim to be accessible to everyone and have no division between who can afford and who cannot. So young people can walk in at any time. To support low-income families with activities and somewhere to go with their children.

DROP-IN- because having choices develops responsibility. Young people can choose when they come, for how long and what they do. We encourage our children and young people to make positive choices for themselves- in how they act with each other, what activities they take part in, what skills they learn.

Children, young people and family member know that they can come any time.

OPEN ACCESS – everyone is welcome.

We aimed to create a ‘habit’ for the ARTBLOCK, in much the same way you know to be quiet in a library. The ‘habit’ of A.P.P.L.E is to be welcoming, friendly, kind, and cooperative.

While A.P.P.L.E. is known for playing out in the park and having fun there is more to what we do. We

build long term relationships with our children and young people based on 4 main guiding principles:

THE NEXT STEP encompasses how we act towards each other and how we see our responsibilities to

each other and it applies to us all: staff, children, young people, families and friends as we encourage

each other at every stage to take the NEXT STEP.

THE NEXT STEP is the response to what each individual wants and needs; it could be- taking part in a training course to boost skills, a football match, something to eat,  the opportunity to take part in something exciting and challenging (a football competition, camping, the Thames Festival), comfort over the loss of a loved one. It is choosing to make a positive step.

​​WE ARE ALL IN IT TOGETHER: Everyone at A.P.P.L.E. is involved in thinking about how to make A.P.P.L.E. better. No one is outside of what happens at A.P.P.L.E. The programme is constantly evolving.  Ideas

come from anywhere, from an event management course for young people, to something talked about over cutting up fruit salad. The solidity and dependability of what we do provides the security for

A.P.P.L.E. to be taken for granted by the young people, as it should be. This security allows them to step out and grow in confidence and ability. It is the balance between a safe home base and challenging activities that gives dynamism to the projects.

"I liked using the bikes, and i would suggest more skate trips to take place for me and my friends" LA. Over 12

​​

​​EXPERIENCE IT – LEARN IT - SHARE IT has always been at the heart of A.P.P.L.E. right from the start: to get children and young people, active, involved and taking responsibility for their time and well being.

​A.P.P.L.E. is lively and encourages children and young people to jump in and try new things and share what they learn with others.

‘its generally fun, it increases social skills because you see people you might not always see, you can learn new skills like art, cooking, skateboarding!’ MM, Aged 13

 

 

SHARED SPACE SHARED VALUES: We promote common values and shared experiences through community events that develop understanding, trust and respect.

 

 

The differences we wish to see:

Children and young people responding to the habit of A.P.P.L.E where the emphasis is on

• kindness and co-operation

• the ability to share (not only things but also time and knowledge)

• the ability to support your peers

• the ability to ask for help when you need it

• the ability to receive support from others when you need it.

 Children and young people participating in community projects to develop

 • connection to the locality they live in

• the habit of community involvement and, a connection and responsibility toward where you live

and the people you live among.

• team work; working with others from other schools, estates, organisations, age groups, backgrounds.

• an understanding of belonging (outside of family): amongst your friends, A.P.P.L.E, the park, the neighbourhood and the wider community.

 

Why  it  matters

Acton has areas of deprivation amidst areas of rising affluence.

In our local schools, East Acton Primary for example, 36% of their role are registered for free school

meals, higher than the national average. From Acton High School “The majority of the students are

from minority ethnic groups and almost two thirds of students speak English as an additional

language. The proportion of students known to be eligible for free school meals and to be eligible for

the pupil premium, identified as disabled or with special educational needs, and with statements is

higher than the national average. 24.8% free school meals against 16.8% the borough average.

66% of the school role where English is not the first language.”

​This year children and young people attending A.P.P.L.E have experienced, food insecurity, evictions,

arrival in the UK, bereavement, anti social behaviour as both perpetrator and victim ,Covid 19 with

locked downs and  disruption to their education.

While they are at A.P.P.L.E we do the best to create a calm, safe, positive environment in which they can begin to make positive choices for themselves. A.P.P.L.E. attracts those who are experiencing difficulties somewhere in their lives. They find us mainly through word of mouth, a friend telling a friend. We are somewhere where children and young people can feel supported and find a path through for

themselves.

Go to our about us page to find out more about A.P.P.L.E.