Fun and Food in School Holidays
Posted: Mon, 28 Jun 2021 13:45
The summer holidays are looking even brighter for children and young people on Free School Meals in Somerset thanks to the Happy Healthy Holidays Somerset programme.
Somerset County Council recently teamed up with Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP) to deliver fun activities and healthy food to nearly 1,800 children over the Easter holidays, and plans are in place to significantly expand this offer for the upcoming summer holidays.
There will be more than 80 venues across Somerset offering face-to-face provision during the summer holidays for children aged from 5 to 16, with activities on offer including sports, music workshops, kayaking and much, much more.
There will be places for around 6,000 young people who qualify for Free School Meals, and the opportunity for thousands of other Somerset youngsters to get involved in the activities too.
The Happy Healthy Holidays Somerset programme will run for four weeks, and the booking system is set to go live on the SASP website https://www.sasp.co.uk/happy-healthy-holidays from 10am on July 5.
An Outstanding Easter
The Easter provision saw a wide range of face-to-face and virtual activities available to young people aged 5 to 16, from adventure activities like climbing and kayaking, to live cook-alongs and workshops with Aardman Animations.
Resources needed for the virtual workshops were sent home to children, along with food boxes which include ingredients for breakfast and lunch for one week, supplied by Morrison's.
The scheme had a positive impact in getting children socialising again and supporting families and children with meals throughout the holidays, with 99% of face-to-face schemes providing hot food.
There were eight mornings of activities provided through the programme at the Minehead Eye youth centre over Easter, and more are being planned to follow in the Summer holidays.
"It went down really well, we were full every day," said Minehead Eye Community Development Manager Paul Matcham.
"We were able to offer a variety of activities including climbing on our new climbing wall, graffiti art workshops, archery and curling, and provide hot food from our on-site café."
Making a difference
One parent, whose daughter attended the activities provided at The Yeast Scrapstore in Glastonbury, said: "It's been so hard for us these last few months - this is just what we all needed. It's so nice to see my daughter dancing and meeting up with her friends."
Another parent, whose son attended activities provided by Inspired Somerset as part of the programme, said: "From our perspective it has been absolutely fantastic. My son has loved every second of it, coming home and telling me all the new things he has learnt about bananas and the red and green labels on food. He's even given me personal advice on cutting down my sugar intake!
"A great effort from all involved and a fantastic way to spend the Easter holiday."