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08 Jun 2023
The Holiday Activity Fund (HAF), co-ordinated by Edsential on behalf of Wirral Council, Cheshire West and Chester Council, and Halton Borough Council, provided thousands of children and their families with free nutritious meals and enriching activities this summer.
Over 120 community, voluntary and faith-based organisations came together to provide much-needed face to face provision for over 11,600 children across all three boroughs. After 18 months of restrictions this was crucial to help boost the confidence and morale of the young people in our local communities.
This summer’s Holiday Activity programme helped develop vital social skills and supported mental and physical health and well-being, with children participating in a whole host of free face to face activities across a choice of 197 action-packed holiday clubs. All providers helped create an unforgettable summer for children and their families, by offering diverse enrichment activities, including trips to Chester Zoo, hairdressing, forest schools, hiking and much more.
The holiday activity with food scheme – funded by the Department for Education to support children and families in receipt of free school meals – also enabled Wirral, Cheshire West & Chester and Halton community-based groups to deliver over 87,000 healthy, nutritious meals.
Parents were delighted with the impact this summer’s holiday activity programme had on their children. One parent said, “It really helped as I have three daughters and I’m not always able to do activities with them. This kept their minds and bodies on the go, keeping them active and well. They really enjoyed it and I enjoyed going to sessions with them”.
The programme also supported over 990 children with special educational needs and disabilities across the Wirral, Cheshire West & Chester, and Halton. One parent said, “It gave our daughter a daily routine while she was off on holiday. This is very important for her as she has autism and ADHD and needs to be in a regular routine which helps with her behaviour and social difficulties”.
Since its launch in 2019, Edsential’s Holiday Activity Fund has supported 35,000 children across Wirral, Cheshire West and Chester, and Halton. Bethan Cooper, Holiday Activity Fund Manager at Edsential Community Interest Company said:
“This summer, we’ve been able to safely provide an incredible programme full of amazing diverse activities and wholesome foods in collaboration with the fabulous organisations across the boroughs.Our providers created such amazing opportunities for the young people. We are really looking forward to winter HAF.”
This December, Edsential will be co-ordinating the first winter Holiday Activity Fund on behalf of Wirral Council, Cheshire West and Chester Council, and Halton Borough Council. This programme will run for four days across the school holidays providing a winter wonderland full of festive feasts and amazing adventures, including trips to the ‘I’m a celebrity, get me out of here’ studios, Santa’s grottos, winter discos and much more!
For more information please visit: www.edsential.com/holidayactivityfund2021/