The Summer Holiday Club

Holiday Activity Fund (HAF) We conducted our first Holiday Summer Club in August 2021, commissioned by Spring North, Blackburn Youth Zone and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.

Our Young People

We had 280 young people registered to attend the summer club between the ages of 4-16 years.

The number of young people attending each day was between
170 and 210.

The registered members were split into the following groups so that we could adapt each activity accordingly:

• Younger Girls A&B (under 10) 
• Younger Boys A&B (under 10) 
• Older Girls
• Older Boys

Our largest group was 70 girls aged between 4-9 year olds on a daily basis.

Second group was 55 boys aged between 4-8 year old

The older girls and older boys groups ranged from 10-16 years old with a total of 50 attendees between them.

Our Team

We had a team comprising of 20+ staff members and volunteers that were spread across our groups to ensure the correct adult to child ratio was met.

Our team was essentially the solid foundation for the holiday club as they played a key role in relationship development with the members.

The Activities

Physical activity and health can be an issue during the school holiday period as families often struggle with providing their children with a balanced nutritious diet. Due to time restraints or work they are not always mindful of completing the recommended exercise levels.

As well as ensuring individuals creativity and skills were developed we also ensured that each group participated in a minimum of 2 hours of sporting activities a week so that they were staying active and engaged.

This include:

Cricket, Rounders, dodgeball for the older groups and fun street inspired games for our younger groups.

The Dance Studio was reserved for Peshkhar Dance and Drama group on Tuesday and Thursday of each they ran dance, drama and keep fit sessions.

Each Monday and Wednesday was reserved circuit training, cardio sessions and cross fit exercises.

The groups enjoyed being creative by decorating cupcakes/biscuits, making clay sculptures, slime, wind chimes/wall hangings, making jelly, self portraits, water bombs and solving crime mysteries. The older girls group also went outdoors for their litter picking session.

We ensured that the activities planned had the right balance for individuals to develop their communication skills, character building, social and emotional skills and physical health

Catering

70% of our attendees received free school meals, and 100% of our young people on the programme experienced financial hardship with food in the holiday period.

Each day we catered for 200+ children.

The meals consisted of chicken biryani, lamb shepherds pie, chicken pasta, tandoori chicken sandwiches, mixed vegetable rice with roast chicken, lasagne and other options were provided.

During the sessions we provided the members with regular snacks including fruit, cereal bars, fruit juice/water and other healthy snacks.

The additional meals that were left over were sent to the children in the local community that were on free school meals but were unable to attend the daily sessions.

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Overall

We had a policy where we did not turn any child away. Every child was always provided with snacks and a meal.

Our activities were adapted towards all participants to keep them engaged and involved.

We received positive feedback from both parents and children. In particular one lady sent her son aged 7yrs old and daughter aged 6 years old to the holiday club so that it enabled her to get her chemotherapy treatment completed from the hospital, as she has breast cancer.

She said that with us offering this service to the children it made her feel less anxious and ensured that the children were kept busy and having fun.

Many of our members also developed great relationships with the staff. The older girls group mentioned how there was a real sense of belonging and a positive environment within their sessions so much so that they could not wait to attend the following day.