Over 330 young people from across County Durham benefitted from our Holiday Squad this Easter, thanks to a funding boost from Durham County Council (DCC).
As part of DCC’s Fun and Food County Durham programme, our Holiday Squad received funding from the Department for Education Holiday Activities and Food programme (HAF) to deliver free activities during the Easter holidays for school aged children from reception to year 6.
Activities included circus skills with entertainment company Circurama, food workshops with cooking school Creative Kitchen, multi-sports with Sunderland Foundation of Light, arts and crafts with community group ARTventurers, science experiments with entertainment service Big Science and an Easter science mystery with social enterprise ATOMS.
Food and refreshments were provided by Creative Kitchen, RE-f-USE and Bullion Hall.
Philip Pollard, Karbon Homes’ Assistant Director of Customer and Community Engagement, said: “We’re thrilled to have received the Fun and Food County Durham programme funding for our Holiday Squad. These sessions enable us to work with local activity groups to provide an opportunity for children to mix and socialise with others during the holidays and enjoy great, healthy lunches and snacks.
“Our Easter Holiday Squad has gone down so well in the community. The events were all fully booked with children getting to learn circus skills, try their hand at cooking, get creative with arts and crafts, get active with multi-sports and experiment with science.
“We’re hoping to be able to welcome everyone back for another Holiday Squad this summer.”
HAF is part of the government’s investment of over £200 million per year to provide free holiday provision including healthy food and enriching activities.
Research has shown that the school holidays can be pressure points for some families. For some children this can lead to a holiday experience gap, with children from low-income households being less likely to access organised out-of-school activities more likely to experience ‘unhealthy holidays’ in terms of nutrition and physical health and more likely to experience social isolation.
The HAF programme is a response to this issue, with evidence showing that free holiday clubs can have a positive impact on children and young people, and that they work best when they provide consistent and easily accessible enrichment activities.