Funding secured for summer holiday activity and food programme

Published

Approximately £963,000 of funding secured from the Department of Education to deliver a holiday activity and food programme for children in Suffolk.

The programme which is named ‘Summer in a Box’ will support the most disadvantaged families, children in care and young carers over the six-week summer holiday, this will include the distribution of 1600 activity packs to children and young people.

The packs which have been developed in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust and a range of local Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise groups provide lots of practical activities for children and young people to interact with ranging from music, museums, physical activity, art, reading, mental health & wellbeing, and cooking as well as the opportunity to engage with video tutorials and specialist tutors.

Suffolk County Council has been working with the Suffolk Community Foundation to ensure that families most in need have access to food and information on cooking and nutrition. 6000 food packs which equates to 12,000 meals will be sent to these families, this is in addition to free school meal vouchers.

Children who receive Free School Meals will also have the opportunity to access a range of free outdoor holiday clubs. At holiday clubs’ children can take part in different sports and a range of creative activities as well as receiving a free lunch. The clubs have been arranged in partnership with West Suffolk Council, East Suffolk Council and Babergh/Mid Suffolk District Council.

Children with complex SEND issues and who are in receipt of free school meals will be able to access specialist school holiday provision. There is also a 1:1 activity programme supporting children and young people living in complex family situations which will not only support the young person but also work with the family to help make positive changes and choices towards a trajectory of better outcomes for the young people involved.

Outreach youth work will also take place in multiple locations and provide young people with the opportunity for assistance and guidance or just someone to have a chat with.

Councillor Paul West, Cabinet Member for Ipswich, Communities and Waste said:

“I am delighted that we have once again been successful in our bid for funding for our holiday activity programme for children and young people in Suffolk. The summer can often be a challenging time for families as they try to keep children occupied, happy and healthy, this will be especially true this year due to the covid-19 pandemic. Many children have missed out on time in school and have been impacted by lockdown so it is important that we can provide stimulating activities for them over the summer holidays.”

"The Covid-19 pandemic has meant we have had to adapt and modify the programme to ensure we are in line with government guidance. This is why we have developed activity packs so children and young people can have access to activities at home. For those children who are able to attend outdoor summer clubs we will have the appropriate measures in place to keep them safe.”