Holiday Activity Fund puts bounce into the spring break

Thousands of local children enjoyed a lot of fun activities over the spring school holiday thanks to Wirral’s Holiday Activities and Food programme, coordinated by Edsential on behalf of Wirral Council.

Across the borough, children and young people in receipt of free school meals enjoyed a wide range of activities and delicious lunches from a network of 70 free activity clubs.

With funding from the Department for Education, 53 different providers delivered a range of educational, physical and mental health clubs.

Children and teens also enjoyed nutritious lunches and snacks, in between activities such as swimming, forest school lessons, donkey rides, day trips, and lots more.

Sports, activities and education provider, Break The Mould, has been a part of the HAF programme for two years and were able to support even more young people and their families this April. Their founder, Kris, said, “We absolutely love being a part of the HAF delivery! As each project comes along, we are evolving to help engage and attract more young people in the local area; our numbers were brilliant across spring, and we can’t wait to do more!

“Across our 4-day camp it was great to see the development and growth of all our children as they grew in confidence and resilience throughout each day, learning new skills and making fantastic memories along the way.”

Church At The Cross, who have also been a part of Edsential’s HAF programme for two years, had an amazing time this spring, with club volunteer Catherine saying, “The Easter holidays have been amazing! We had a variety of enriching activities such as puppet shows, donkey rides, bouncy castle, pool, air hockey and many more! The children also had a delicious, packed lunch throughout the day. Parents across the community could also pick up our free food hampers which allows them to support their child/children outside of the club too.

“We strive to boost the community and aim to enrich and encourage community fun throughout each
school holiday, making Church at the cross the place to be!”

Edsential was one of eleven chosen organisations who coordinated the Holiday Activity pilot programme back in 2019.  Since the Department for Education announced funding nationally in 2020, Edsential have continued to support children and young people across the borough on behalf of Wirral Council.

Bethan cooper, Holiday Activity Fund Manager at Edsential said, “We are so pleased to have worked with 53 amazing voluntary, community, and faith-based organisations this spring. The young people in our community had a memorable opportunity to participate in engaging and enriching activities that promote resilience, character development, and well-being. We can’t wait to see what summer has in store for us!”

Following the success of the programme, the Department for Education has confirmed that funding will continue to be available to all councils until 2025. 

Councillor Kathy Hodson, Chair of Wirral Council’s Children, Young People and Education Committee, said, “The Holiday Activity Fund is a great example of the government’s investment in Wirral families, with thousands of local young people learning new life skills and taking part in so many fantastic activities.

“And further government funding means we will be able to deliver another fun-filled summer for local young people this year.”

Edsential’s Holiday Activity with Food programme will continue to run across summer and winter this year. Keep an eye out on Edsential’s Facebook, Twitter or website to find out more.

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