what we do and why it matters
“Best thing today was laughing with my friends.”
What we do and why it matters
A.P.P.L.E is situated opposite the Vale Estate in East Acton Ward. The majority of our over 11’s attend Acton High School in South Acton Ward. We have worked in John Perryn Primary School in East Acton for the past 15 years. We work in partnership with LB Ealing Youth and Connexions and with Bollo Brook Youth Centre in South Acton.
A.P.P.L.E provides a centre for children and young people from 8-18 yrs olds.
One of the biggest problems many of our young people face is being constantly surrounded by the background of drug, crime and gang activity on the local estates; crossing the estate to get the bus to school, in the stairwell of a block of flats, in the playground.
It is essential that young people are provided for and given positive alternatives.
The amount of money spent on services for teenagers in England has fallen by 36% in the past two years, according to figures released to the BBC. Ealing has experienced a 59% cut to its Youth service since 2011 and 77% cut to voluntary services working with young people since 2011 according to a briefing for the London Assembly by Sian Berry-Green Party Member of the London Assembly (January 2017)
Our young people mainly go to Acton High School (033A) - this is a quotation from their recent Ofsted report. “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.”
The children and young people who come to A.P.P.L.E find us themselves. 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.
Many of our young people are experiencing difficulties somewhere in their lives. Some are not so serious, the usual teenage anxiety about not fitting in and some are serious difficulties such as an alcoholic parent or being bullied. There are many complex issues such as sexual identity, learning difficulties, and social issues such as low income and refugee status.
“I think when people come to APPLE it brings people together and it brings joy to me when I’ve had a bad day. I come here so I can make people feel good about themselves just like it made me.” A M (young person)
A.P.P.L.E creates an environment for children and young people that is safe and nurturing, where they can develop their own ideas, creativity and individuality.
“It enables the children to become individuals and they become their own people which is great for the children. They make new friends. The equipment, the artwork, everything you do here is amazing! It teaches the children how to cook, how to interact with adults and children. The older ones look after the younger ones which is great.“ Christine (parent)
All our children need confidence and resourcefulness to face future challenges. For many of our young people their lives are already difficult. Disaffection and a debilitating lack of confidence and opportunity puts young people on the outside with little hope for their own futures and with no commitment to the shared values of a community.
We rely heavily on the ability and skills of voluntary/charitable organisation to reach those young people most in need. We work closely together to ensure that we share knowledge, skills and resource where we can.” Sara Constable – Youth Manager LB Ealing Youth and Connexions
The wellbeing of a community, of society, does not happen by accident. If people desire a safe, friendly thriving place to live it needs active citizens prepared to contribute. Communities need somewhere for children to play, to make art, music, drama, enjoy the outdoors, make festivals, galas, celebrations, enjoy and learn from neighbours' cultures, share interests and passions - anything and everything from allotments to music.
A.P.P.L.E. jumps in. We are active in our local community and encourage our children and young people to become active citizens concerned with the well being of themselves, their friends, their families, neighbours and local community. Belonging and being valued creates the communities we all want to live in.
"A.P.P.L.E. gives you responsibility and independence to help you flourish as a person" DS - M, Black British
Our purpose is to support children and young people by providing free, drop-in, open access recreational, educational and creative activities out of school hours
What A.P.P.L.E. is About
A.P.P.L.E. is known for playing out in the park and having fun - and we do - but the structure behind is based on 4 main principles that guide what we do:
The Next Step
We are all in it together
Experience it-learn it-share it
Shared Space Shared Values
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; 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.
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.
EXPERIENCE IT: A.P.P.L.E. is lively and encourages children and young people to jump in and try new things - new foods (chocolate beetroot cake), new sport (croquet), new experiences (wall climbing, the theatre) and more.
LEARN IT : Then to learn from it, learn to be courageous, to face a challenge, to feel the sense of accomplishment, to feel knowledge and experience grow.
SHARE IT: And then to pass it on by encouraging others to be challenged, try the unknown, to be brave, to teach the skills learnt and give back something.
SHARED SPACE SHARED VALUES: A.P.P.L.E is located in an area of high cultural diversity. This cultural diversity is constantly in a state of flux, with newcomers from different backgrounds constantly joining the mix. We put on events that promote commonality and shared experiences that develop understanding, trust and respect.
Go to our about us page to find out more about A.P.P.L.E.