The Government has allocated Dudley Borough with £1,200,000 from the Holiday Activities and Food Programme funding to be spent by the end of 2021 on activities and refreshments for income eligible, free school meals pupils for a week at Easter, 4 weeks in the summer and a week at Christmas.
The approach we have taken in Dudley is to work with children, young people, their families, and schools and providers to ask what activities children and young people would really benefit from.
We want this to be an enriching experience that gives many of our children a chance to try new things they may not have tried before or visit places they may not have had the opportunity to visit.
This is the first year the Holiday Activity Fun (HAF) has ever run and we are delighted to have worked with 103 schools, over 50 providers and been able to offer over 50,000 sessions to nearly 4000 children and young people.
There is a real pick and mix variety of activities, with something for everyone! There are school holiday clubs, where little ones can let off steam and take part in action-packed sports and activity camps, are being organised in selected schools.
At Baggridge Country Park, children can try out the High Ropes adventures and will be invited to join a summer sports camp where they can try karate, fitness and exercise, indoor soft football, dance, yoga and rugby.
Many parents, young people and children told us how they would love the opportunity of a day out together, so we have worked with Dudley Zoo, The Black Country Museum and The Canal Trust to offer great family days out for people who may not normally be able to afford it.
For our SEND children with have a make your own afternoon tea with Kayleigh (who is a young person with Learning Disabilities who gives a tutorial on how to make the scones and put the afternoon tea together) there is also the opportunity to try golf and animal petting.
For our teens we organised a Mocktails and Tapas with a Black Country twist! A group of young people got to make their own alcohol free mocktails, learn about Spanish food and compare it to traditional Black Country offerings such as faggots and Liver and onions! We also encouraged them to have a go at making their own fakeaways, healthy versions of KFC, Pizza Hut, Nandos and a curry. Once they ‘rate their plate’ and send us a photo and review of their finished dish we send them a voucher for the real thing to ‘treat their mate’
A number of other universal activities have also been organised for all children across the borough. There will be ‘Diddy Dinosaur’ craft sessions at Dudley Museum, a Fairies and Dinosaur Day at Himley Hall and Park, play and adventure at Sycamore Adventure and sports and swimming activities in leisure centres.
HAF is offering children and young people the much-needed opportunity to build their confidence, socialise and have some fun this summer and the feedback from families has been overwhelmingly positive.
“Thank you for giving this opportunity to our children, they’ve really suffered whilst being in lockdown so this extra bit of help for those who struggle sometimes more than others is really appreciated”
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