Wider World is a Bristol-based charity supporting children to develop character strengths and life skills through our three pillars of support, which includes delivering stimulating skills development enrichment experiences, life and learning skills classroom-based programmes and parent support.
We’ve been supporting children aged 8 to 12 years and their families across Bristol since 2014 working closely with primary and secondary school, Bristol University, UWE, The Civil Service, a multitude of activity providers and venues and have supported over 200 children so far.
We are funded through grant programmes such as The Big Lottery, John James, John Lewis, Bristol University Internship fund, The Co-op and others, plus personal donations, fundraising events and school funding.
We’re still pretty new, emerging and building up our programme, our funding base and staff. These are exciting times and we’re so passionate about the work we do and where we could go with our vision to support more and more children across the city to realise their goals and life-chances.
All of the activities and programmes we deliver are underpinned by our Pillars of Support. We believe that these three pillars combined, provide the necessary support children need to build and improve their skills, attitudes and behaviours.
Experiential / practical activities designed to allow beneficiaries to practise and build their skills.
Theory and learning-based activities designed to illicit a deeper understanding of the programme skills and how to cultivate and refine them.
Support for parents in the form of workshops and courses, designed to provide parents and carers with the skills the support and encourage the programme skills. This could include parents learning alongside their children and parent-only parenting programmes.
Through the work we do with children and families, we seek to redress the inequality of access to experiences, that shape and build important life and learning skills.
We believe all children should have the opportunity to fulfil their potential and grow into the person they want to be, with the necessary support and encouragement along the way, positively contributing as members of society.
We are committed to delivering high-quality, evidence-based programmes that develop children’s life and learning skills and build parents’ skills and confidence to support their children.
We support disadvantaged children and young people (aged 8-16) living in the Bristol area.
Our programmes support the development of the following skills, essential for success in life and learning:
We measure and evaluate the impact of our programmes to help us plan for the future. We capture both qualitative and quantitative data from children, parents and professionals at several stages throughout our programmes. This includes observational data, records of achievement during activities and participant reflections.
We want to build and grow our programmes to support a greater number of beneficiaries over the next 5+ years.
Identify and build our income avenues through grant funding, fund-raising, securing contracts and corporate fund-raising.
Recruit a CEO to manage the day-to-day running of the charity.
Recruit two new trustees.
Identify further opportunities for volunteer recruitment for continued growth of our volunteer database, including Bristol University, UWE and the Civil Service.
Develop high-quality training and support programmes for internship students, volunteers and staff.
Formalise our charity address and office space.
Engage with a series of networking events to raise our profile and build financial and expertise support. This could include presentations, delivering workshops or activities.
Increase the number of programmes delivered by at least 50%.
Grow our geographical target audience to include surrounding areas of the South West of England, building new programmes based on existing models.
Our logo symbolises an albatross circumnavigating the world.
Many children don’t get the opportunity to truly explore the world outside of their city or town, or indeed the breadth of opportunity within their community. One of the first steps to redressing this is to visit and explore new places, new ideas and new experiences, meeting people from all walks of life, sparking curiosity and raising aspirations.
We believe there are many parallels between the albatross and the skills, attributes and attitudes we seek to build through our programmes.
Determination, Tenacity and Resilience
An albatross can circumnavigate the world in 46 days and fly 10,000 miles in one go! It can stay aloft for long periods of time without flapping its enormous wings, which can reach up to 3.5 metres across.
The albatross is perhaps best known for its part in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798). In the poem, an albatross starts to follow a ship, which was generally considered a sign of good luck. However, the mariner shoots the albatross with a crossbow, which brought bad luck upon the ship and its crew. The poor Albatross has long since been associated with a weight around one’s shoulder or a heavy burden, but we prefer to remember the original maritime belief that if you’re followed by an albatross, luck will be on your side. Just don’t shoot it with a crossbow! Perhaps the message here could be, ‘take whatever luck throws your way, and don’t waste it’.
Fleetwood Mac released a single in 1968 called Albatross, their first UK number one.
In 2005 Q Magazine placed it at number 37 in a list of 100 greatest guitar tracks.
Dynamic & Adaptive
Researchers believe that albatrosses perform a ‘highly dynamic manoeuvre’ that involves gaining height by angling their wings while flying into the wind, then turning and swooping along for up to 100 metres. They were recorded as flying at speeds as high as 67mph. They are not simply being blown along — they can actually fly much faster than the windspeed, about three times as fast in one example. We would like the children we work with to feel that they too are ‘not simply being blown along’, having control of their direction of travel, with the skills and confidence to find new, innovative ways of doing things.
A spokesperson for the RSPB said that the study was ‘yet further confirmation that albatrosses are supremely adapted for the environment in which they inhabit’. The ability to adapt to our environment requires several of the skills embedded in our programmes, for example, resilience, confidence, goal setting, problem-solving. NASA is so inspired by the albatrosses ability they are using it to develop their own new technologies. Perhaps those who build these skills throughout programmes and other influences in their lives will also inspire others with their achievements.
You may have seen the Antarctica episode from the BBC series: Seven Worlds, One Planet, in which David Attenborough explains the impact of climate change on albatrosses, in particular, the increase in wind strength, knocking the chicks from their nests whilst the parents are away searching for food.