Holiday activities for vulnerable children and young people will go ahead this year this summer following the success of Cheshire East Council’s delivery of the Covid winter grant scheme.
Activity programmes are in development and organisations and families will be able to obtain more details later this month about the schemes to be run.
It follows the success of the council’s roll-out of the government’s support package for vulnerable children and families placed at risk during the pandemic.
The council managed to reach 9,500 vulnerable young people between December and April, ensuring that they received supplies of food and that household bills were paid.
Cheshire East Council received £1.18m from central government. The council sent out more than 40,000 food vouchers and more than 1,500 utility vouchers to help with household bills.
The council also ensured that families in need of replacement goods, such as fridges, cookers and washing machines, were also helped and as many as 122 households benefited from a partnership involving schools, colleges, the NHS, council services and third sector organisations to identify families in need.
Councillor Kathryn Flavell, Cheshire East Council’s chair of children and families, said: “We received many complimentary comments from people and professions about our approach to this, ensuring that families and children in Cheshire East placed at risk by the pandemic, were supported and not forgotten.
“Many residents who were worried about paying bills or being unable to put food on the table, expressed their relief at knowing that we, together with other support organisations and charities, were around to help, offering clear guidance in how to make applications for support packages.”
Following the success of the Christmas and Easter holiday activity schemes, the council is now preparing for similar activity programmes this summer. These are intended to target children who receive free school meals so that, as well as having some fun in a safe and secure environment along with other children, they also receive a healthy meal at the same time.
The council’s Easter programme funded 18 schemes in more than 35 locations and saw more than 460 children joining holiday activity clubs where they enjoyed baking sessions, science experiments, gardening, dance, signing, games, drama, physical exercise, sports and much more.
Councillor Flavell added: “I am so pleased that we are able to continue this programme this summer, and I want to thank the many organisations who dedicate their time during the summer months to ensure that these children are given something positive to do during their time off school and are well looked after.
“This is funded by the Department for Education – but it is our community groups who make it happen and put a smile on the faces of so many children in our borough.”
Organisations can get involved by emailing Cheshire East Holiday Activity Fund