Charity name: Bath Area Play Project

Your name: Caroline Haworth MBE

Where are you based and what do you do?

Bath Area Play Project or BAPP for short, is based in Odd Down Community Centre. BAPP provide a range of services for children, young people and their families all of which use play as a catalyst for positive engagement or change. We have a fantastic staff team and volunteer Trustees who govern our work and ensure that quality is upheld. We have a child-centred ethos with an inclusive focus where nothing is impossible! We are a playful bunch who are passionate about the power of play and its importance for development of the whole child, whatever their age.

What inspired you to start your business?

The charity was started in 1979 by a small group of volunteers who were responding to the high youth unemployment at that time with Avon Youth Clubs all closed during the summer holidays. Bath Summer Youth Project, as it was first known, was set up by a group of like-minded, concerned adults worried about what young people might get up to in Weston, Whiteway and Walcot areas of the city. Outside play, Camps on Dartmoor, trips to the beach and football were the most popular activities.

These are all still as popular and this year we will be celebrating our 40th birthday!

What do you love about running a charity in Bath?

Working in the voluntary or third sector means that you have the relative freedom and ability to be responsive to need and being community based, we hear from both children and adults what the issues are. We have a thriving third sector here in B&NES, and so there is usually a colleague in a different organisation you can get advice from. However, for a small city, there are a lot of worthy causes and so it is becoming increasingly competitive particularly where other charities have bigger marketing budgets! It is fantastic to have been chosen by Kids of Bath as one of their partner charities and we look forward to working together.

You’ve got five minutes to grab a sandwich, where do you go?

Parsons Bakery at Noads Corner or the Co-op

Where’s your favourite place to book for a business lunch or a meal/drink after a tough day?

As a charity we don’t do business lunches sadly, but we have a great pub, The Cross Keys on Midford Road, Combe Down – great food and Guinness!

Tell us about another Bath business you love and why?

We love all the businesses that support BAPP through donations of food, resources and prizes. Recently Davies of Bath (Rabart’s) in Monmouth Street, donated enough paint for us to be able to redecorate our Nursery and Pre-school in Twerton.

What advice would you give to someone starting a business in the city?

Do your research – there’s an ever-changing market. There are a lot of families on the South side of the city who never come into the city as they don’t feel connected anymore.