Spotlight on Sandwell Adventure Play Association
Tell us what you do
We are a registered charity and voluntary organisation who specialise in children’s play. We provide quality childcare in some of the neediest areas of Sandwell and operate across 3 main settings.
Firstly we offer neighbourhood-based, open access playcentres which are a bit like youth clubs for younger children as they can drop-in when they want for 3 hours after school. Secondly, we run 4 out of school clubs which focus on providing a safe environment for children to play whilst their parents are able to pursue further training, education or employment. Thirdly SAPA run 2 pre-school playgroups which follow the Early Years Foundation Stage standards.
What is your proudest achievement?
That we are still going! SAPA has been in operation since 1969 and started off with playcentres that were little more than huts or dens. Since then we’ve transformed into a prestigious child-care service. We’ve managed to survive the recession and are proud to still be developing our services.
What is your experience of support received from SCVO (if relevant)?
We’ve received a lot of support from SCVO over the years. This has ranged from financial training, business training and consultation for applications. They also act as a general forum for sharing information amongst voluntary organisations so the networking element is great too.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
They are very hard-working. If they have a goal, then they really do strive for it. This is why it’s so important that we can offer the out of school clubs. Parents can undertake training or education in order to better their lives for their families, whilst knowing that their children are being looked after in a safe environment and having fun.
What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
Our big challenge for the future is funding. Many voluntary organisations are facing issues with financing operations and it has been getting harder and harder. We want to maintain our professional service but at the same time it has to be financially viable.
How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
SCVO can help us in the same way that they have done in the past. They offer us a wide range of expertise and funding advice in particular is something that we greatly appreciate SCVO’s support with.
For more information about Sandwell Adventure Play Association, please visit their website at www.sandwelladventureplayassociation.org.uk or ring 0121 569 5845