Free activity spaces for children this Easter are going fast
A wide range of activities which also provide a nutritious meal are on offer for all ages during the Easter holidays.
Free places are available for children who receive benefits-related free school meals and on a paid-for basis as well.
However, the Isle of Wight Council is urging parents and carers to act now to avoid potentially missing out, as spaces are being booked up quickly.
Suzanne Smith, assistant director of children’s services, said: “It is great news that so many Island children are being signed up for these activities and food schemes over Easter.
“These schemes make a huge difference to children from families who are struggling financially. School holidays can be tough because of increased costs, such as food and childcare, and reduced incomes — especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This means some children are less likely to access organised out-of-school activities and can miss out on the social and health benefits. By taking part in a free holiday club where a nutritious meal is provided, disadvantaged children get to enjoy the same enriching experiences as many of their friends and peers.”
The following organisations are offering activities and parents and carers wishing to find out more should contact the provider directly:
Aspire Ryde — Kids play session and healthy meal in the Kingdom play activity centre. Forty spaces available per day over the holidays. Email: email@example.com or call (01983) 716020.
CM Sports — CM Sports is offering sports coaching and arts and crafts activities for eligible children aged five to 11 in Newport (Barton Primary and Nine Acres Primary). Bookings: 02392 987881 or visit: http://www.cm-sports.co.uk
Theatre Educational — Theatre Educational has a range of professional, experienced community arts tutors who will provide arts and theatre themed activity for seven to 16 year olds. Visit www.theatreeducational.co.uk/haf-easter-activities.html for full details or call: 07984 170014.
Scalllywags (Broadlea Primary School) — Fully booked, waiting list available. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 07977 709088 for more information.
Island Riding Centre — Riding sessions for ages six to 14. Bookings: Easter@islandriding.com
Ventnor Early Years Centre — The centre will be providing Forest School activities such as campfire and den building, teams games, cooking and creative arts for children aged five to ten years old. Email: email@example.com, or call (01983) 856868.
YMCA — YMCA are offering places at its day camps throughout the Easter holidays for children aged up to 12 years old. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (01983) 862441 (option 4).
West Wight Nursery — Fully booked.
The Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme is funded by the Department for Education. Local authorities use the funding to organise schemes that offer healthy food and enriching activities to children eligible for free school meals during the 2021 school holidays.
The aim of the HAF programme is to make free places available to eligible children for the equivalent of at least four hours a day, four days a week and for six weeks a year. This would cover four weeks in the summer and a week’s worth of provision in the 2021 Easter and Christmas holidays.
The council will be seeking applications for the summer holiday in the coming days and again, later in the year, for Christmas.
Organisations should go to the connect4communities.org website for details as well as application forms and guidance.