Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


We would like to transform our school's outdoor play area from an empty, play-less space into somewhere children can engage in fun, physical and sensory outdoor activities, improving their social and communication skills. The project will allow us to develop our provision for community use, helping ensure that local children aged 2-11 get the best start in life and have better access to safe and exciting play opportunities, before and after school.

Ernesettle is a very deprived neighbourhood of Plymouth , with vast swathes of rundown social housing. We have a high number of children in care. Pupils have a poor outlook on life and low aspirations. Children come to us with poor communicative and language abilities, further reducing their self-esteem and holding them back from discovering their true potential in life.

This project will inspire and motivate children of all abilities to engage in play, broadening communication and increasing interaction between peers. This will boost self-esteem , in turn motivating them to try new things. In exploring the stimulating play equipment, testing their social, cognitive, emotional and physical capabilities, children will rapidly develop their life skills.

The local environment reflects the deprivation and poverty of many families who live here. There are minimal green spaces and play parks. The large-scale council estates offer enclosed play areas, but these are run down and not well maintained. Reported instances of bullying and intimidation in the parks by gangs of youths, discourages outdoor play and causes children to mimic poor social behaviours.

Our project will create a vibrant, safe and exciting play environment which gets children moving and interacting positively together. It will dramatically improve the urban environment for our youngsters.
This will be a project for the entire community. Our children often mimic poor behaviour they have witnessed in the wider community in the playground. We surveyed parents and carers and they prioritised improving the outdoor areas to develop inclusion and improve behaviour. We talked to the children, showing them pictures of equipment to gauge what their interests and preferences were. We have designed a play space that will encourage children to interact in a positive way and give them the skills they need to become positive and effective members of the community of the future. The attractive seating area, in particular, will encourage children to come together, seek pastoral support or discuss and overcome differences with peers.
We actively need to help our parents increase engagement with their children. The outdoor project area will offer a neutral setting where parents feel safe and comfortable to observe their children in play and join in. Parents will be welcomed to intended after-school activities and 'play dates' where pastoral support will be on hand in case they have any problems or concerns.

Our project activities will create additional after-school and holiday clubs. We intend to create additional clubs for children with additional and special educational needs whereby they can learn to use the physical equipment and play at their own pace. Children living on estates, in homes and flats with no garden or access to safe outdoor play activities will be encouraged to attend new parent & child engagement clubs and holiday clubs.

We currently have 26 Mill Ford Special School children using our site as there is insufficient space for them at Mill Ford. This project will provide inclusive spaces and activities for them to use, now and in the future and will enable more Mill Ford pupils to use the funded project. The local Scouts, Rainbow and Brownie groups use our indoor facilities and have expressed a need for safe outdoor play sessions to incorporate in their activities.

We hope you can help.

Project Video

Ernesettle Community School [The Inspire Multi Academy Trust (South West)]

Moment of Pride

We need to get our children moving! Physical activity is at an all-time low for pupils and families we serve mainly due to the rapid rise sedentary entertainment they engage in. Our outdoor play area has been an empty, play-less space with minimal play activities for young minds to actively develop.

Location: Biggin Hill, Plymouth PL5 2RB, UK