Praise for Free Holiday Clubs
A South Tyneside woman has praised a scheme which sees hard-pressed families given access to free holiday clubs during school holidays.
Funded by the Department for Education, the schemes are being delivered by the Council and its partners. The clubs are free to those aged between five and 16 who receive free school meals or whose families are experiencing financial hardship.
Josey Dixon, 34, who is a volunteer for the Key Project, used the clubs over the summer for her daughter Kaci-Jo.
She said: "The clubs were an absolute godsend. My daughter has only just turned 12 so I didn't want her to be on her own in the summer holidays while I was out doing my voluntary work.
"I was also concerned about her becoming socially isolated but she made friends at the clubs which was great. The clubs really helped take the pressure off me."
Josey, from Chichester in South Shields, is hoping to use the clubs again over the Christmas holidays.
The clubs will offer a range of fun activities for children and young people to enjoy with their friends over four days of the Christmas holidays. In addition to providing a nutritious hot meal, the clubs will offer enriching activities such as sports, crafts, mud kitchens, festive Zumba and a day out to Beamish.
Those taking part are asked to observe the latest Covid advice at the time of the activities, including regular hand-washing, wearing a face mask if age appropriate and taking a lateral flow test before attending. Anyone who is feeling unwell or symptomatic should stay at home.
Councillor Adam Ellison, Lead Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: "The Summer holiday clubs were hugely successful so we are delighted to be able to run these clubs again in association with our partners which will help us deliver on our priority of supporting families."
The clubs are being run at various venues throughout the Borough and must be booked in advance as soon as possible. Bookings will close four days before an event so that catering can be arranged. To find out more about the clubs or to book a place visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/holidayclub or email HAF@southtyneside.gov.uk