Support for Children and Young People

For ages 7 - 13

Link Forward Team

Our team works with children and young people aged 7-13 who are facing things in their life which are impacting on their wellbeing.  We offer 1:1 support sessions as well as connections to small groups and activities.

Lots of things might affect wellbeing. For example starting a new school, finding it hard to make friends, struggling with anxiety or feeling low. Link Forward aims to provide early wellbeing and mental health support to children and young people who are finding things tough.

Our 1:1 sessions usually take place in school and aim to be a fun and safe space for children and young people to explore what is important to them and what they need support with. We like to involve lots of play and creative arts – things like games, painting and drawing. Once we’ve identified what they need we can then link them to local groups, services or activities that might be helpful.

We can also work with parents and carers to signpost to parent support or services that can help with adult wellbeing.

Find out more >

Southmead Adventure Playground

Welcome to Youth & Play Sessions The Ranch

Term-time Opening Times

Play Sessions for ages 8 – 13

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday – 3:30 – 5:30pm

* Children under 8 are welcome if accompanied by a responsible adult 18+*

Youth Sessions for ages 13+

Wednesday & Friday – 6pm – 8pm

For daily details follow us on Facebook: SouthmeadAdventurePlayground


Southmead Adventure Playground

About The Ranch

We’ve been looking after The Ranch since 2018 when we took on the lease to run it from Bristol City Council.  We now manage the site on behalf of the Southmead Community. The Ranch is a treasure to families of Southmead and we are proud to base our work with children and young people here.

As well as running our after school free play and evening youth sessions, we also work with other organisations for young people; WECIL, Creative Youth Network and National Autistic Society all bring groups to the site.

See The Ranch Facebook Page >

What we do

We believe that providing safe spaces for children and young people to flourish is essential to a vibrant and energetic community. We manage The Ranch (Southmead Adventure Playground).

Our free, open access sessions for ages 8-18 are run by our Youth and Play team, supported by local Volunteers.  Activities include sports, creative workshops, music, outdoor play, indoor play and hanging out.

Working with partners across the City we ensure the voices of young people and children are heard.  We are proud to be part of the Playful Bristol network.

How BBC DIY SOS transformed The Ranch

We couldn’t believe our luck when in October 2021 the DIY SOS team arrived, with an army of volunteers from near and far, to transform the Southmead Adventure Playground.

They spent 9 days and nights working hard, in all kinds of weather, to create new play and hang out spaces for the children, young people and families in our community.

Watch the photo montage below for a quick overview of what happened.  The programme was broadcast at 8pm on BBC1 on Tuesday 24th May 2022.

If you were a volunteer on the project, HUGE thanks to you.

Youth & Play News

CLOSED: Youth Worker

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CLOSED: Play Worker

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Creating New Space for Children & Young People at Greenway

Read more >

Holidays at The Ranch, 19th – 21st December: Santa’s Coming!

Read more >

Southmead Youth Centre: update on lease 2022

We agreed to return our lease for the Southmead Youth Centre building to the Council, due to their plans for their land.  This happened formerly on October 3rd 2022.  In return the Council have helped to pay for the renovation of The Ranch and also promised new community facilities within the new housing development at Glencoyne Square.

Therefore, our twice weekly evening youth club now happens at The Ranch which, since its renovation, has many fantastic new features for young people such as the Hub lounge, a new sports surface and amazing music studio.  We have seen numbers of young people attending The Ranch grow and grow.

The BBC DIY SOS show was the beginning of another chapter in The Ranch’s long story, and a great lift to our plans to develop the site for all ages with top-class, fully accessible facilities for learning, play, adventure and sports.

We need to keep raising funds to keep Youth and Play services running and one of ways for us to earn income is to open The Ranch to hire for children’s birthday parties.  If you would like to volunteer to help us host parties please do get in touch.

Click for info about party hire at The Ranch>

We need your help

Our priority is to raise funds to keep sessions open at The Ranch for children and young people.

Please donate what you can.

Thank you.


Our Partners