SUMMER ACTIVITIES: Wirral holiday club
A huge set of activities including music, dance, drama, art, sport and cooking will be put on for Wirral’s children this summer.
Thousands of children in the borough will get this chance thanks to a network of 54 holiday clubs who are working together to make this summer one to remember.
Up to 6,000 places are available in the scheme, which is being organised by Edsential, a community interest company owned by Wirral and Cheshire West and Chester Councils and their local partner Neo Community.
A nutritious meal will be provided each day to all those taking part in the holiday clubs.
The summer programme will be targeted at those who are eligible for free school meals and will be funded by an £800,000 award from the department for education’s Holiday Activity Fund.
Families looking to save money are also invited to take part in a ‘Summer Cooking on a Budget Challenge’ which will provide ingredients and advice to prepare a range of balanced meals for the whole family.
All those taking part in the challenge will receive nutritional food packs containing the ingredients and recipes needed to make the food.
Families will also be encouraged to record and share a short video of their cooking efforts on social media with prizes up for grabs.
The challenge is expected to support up to 4,000 local families and is part of a package made possible by a grant of £1.153m from the department for work and pensions as an extension to Wirral’s Covid Local Support Grant.
The extra money will also provide:
A £300,000 small grants programme offering grants of up to £15,000 to community food and welfare support providers to ensure food and essential supplies are available to those most in need over the summer months.
£123,750 for ‘Welcome Back to School Food Support Packs’ which will provide a supply of essential food for schools to distribute to families in need at the start of the new term.
£125,000 to help residents who are struggling with fuel and water bills. The scheme will be delivered by Citizens Advice Wirral in partnership with local charity Energy Projects Plus.
£37,000 for crisis support with white goods and emergency call-outs and boiler repairs/replacements, which will be managed in partnership with community-based partners, North Birkenhead Development Trust and St Vincent de Paul Society (Wirral), and local charity Energy Projects Plus.
Simone White, Wirral Council’s director of children’s services, said: “Children and families have had a tough time since the start of the pandemic, with many having to deal with continued disruption and added financial pressures.
“We know for many families big challenges remain.
“It is really good to know that thanks to this extra support many can now look forward to the summer holiday and knowing that their children will be among the thousands of local children and young people who will benefit from these wonderful opportunities to have a go at new activities and meet new friends in a safe and fun environment.”
Ema Wilkes, chief executive of Neo Community, said: “We are, again, immensely proud to be part of this collaborative and creative approach to supporting communities over Wirral.
“This summer will inspire families to cook together, inspire communities to work together and inspire people to support themselves and each other through difficult times.
“We hope this momentum and huge partnership will continue for a long time to come.”
You can find out how to get onto the programmes here (www.edsential.com/holidayactivityfund2021).
Words: George Morgan, Local Democracy Reporter
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