Safe places in Bath and North East Somerset

  • Home
  • >
  • Safe places in Bath and North East Somerset

Safe places in Bath and North East Somerset  

Access to a safe place is a fundamental human right. When we established our Foundation Fund in 2020 to support under-served children aged 0-12 in our region, we recognised that one of the issues they might face would be a shortage of places outside of school hours where they would feel safe and which would contribute to their general well-being.  

As the cost-of-living crisis continues, the number of families with access to after school activities, often run by private organisations, is reducing. The Early Years Alliance has shown that the number of children’s centres in England dropped by 93% between 2010 and 2019.  

The loss of indoor children’s centres means that children are increasingly limited in the safe places they can spend their time, which in turn can impact on their wellbeing and quality of life. At St John’s, we believe every child has the potential to do well in school, but a child’s environment and activities outside of school can significantly impact their readiness to learn. This is why we have launched our Safe Places map. 

Our definition of a ‘Safe Place’ is a place where children and their parents can go to engage with each other and have access to activities and support. Through accessing a safe place children and parents have the opportunity to engage with their community and feel a better sense of connection and belonging.  They are often also able to access nutritious food to support their physical wellbeing. 

Weaving in support with nutritious food where possible helps families that may be facing food insecurity.  According to the Food Foundation, 14% of people in the South West experienced food poverty in April 2022 alone, with households that have children facing an increased risk of falling below the poverty line. The national picture is also bleak. In 2022, 4.2 million children in the UK were living in poverty. This equates to about 29% of UK children and six % of the total population. 

Register your Safe Places 

To expand the Safe Places campaign and provide greater support in the BaNES region, St John’s is encouraging organisations to join the campaign and register their venues as a ‘safe place’. The support from members of the local community will expand the reach of our Safe Places campaign and help more families with children aged 0-12. All locations are logged on a map on our website, you can find out more here. 

Many organisations across BaNES have already registered their venues, including groups in Bath, Keynsham, and Midsomer Norton. The locations vary from sports clubs to community halls and churches. Many organise activities for children to get involved with. Others support older adults and some Safe Places also have kitchens, which means food can be offered. Contact details are available after clicking on each location so parents can find out more.