2020 Free Ealing Summer School
It all began during July of 2020; when we launched our Free Ealing Summer School for the children of our community, struggling with the educational setbacks caused by the covid-19 lockdown.
Over the 6 weeks, we had an incredible turnout - from both teachers and students. All teachers and volunteers worked entirely for free to plan and run their sessions, from full-time school teachers, early years teachers, Special Needs educators, charity workers, and professionals running core subject lessons, creative sessions and more. Students logged on each day to catch up on school subjects, learn brand new topics and expand their interests.
The project culminated with an online event, which saw students, families, council members, organisation representatives, and a special appearance from our Ealing MP, James Murray.
Figures revealed that we had over 38 teachers, running over 140 sessions online that saw 2085 lesson sign-ups. Not only that, but over 100 books were donated; over 200 posters were put up and numerous donations, the majority of which were received from members of the Ealing community. If you would like to read more about the 2020 Summer School Project, click here! Through the success of the summer school, we were able to continue our work running various projects (Fun and Creative Sessions, Black History Month, Community Catch Up Scheme, Confidence and Wellbeing, Half Term Buzz, Early Years Club/Springboard into Education, YEF Maths, English and Science, and more.
2021 Chelsea HAF Camp
Following the success of these 2020 events, in Easter 2021, we were awarded funding from Ealing Council to run part of their HAF project - Holiday Activity and Food Programme. For 4 consecutive days (read all about this here) where we were able to provide 30 local children on free school meals the opportunity to join us for 4 hours a day, of stimulating activities, exercise, socialising and even a full healthy meal. Being at the tail end of the UK lockdown, for many children this was their first in-person event in well over a year.
We were delighted with the turnout and feedback - and even more delighted to be told we were then accepted for the Summer offering of the HAF programme as well. But not only in Ealing this time, accepted by another borough too! And so, this Summer we are running 5 whole weeks of our day camp for children on Free School Meals, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea as well.
This funding will allow us to welcome 30 children per week, for 3 hours a day, over 5 weeks. Thats up to 150 children. However many have already booked in to join us for the entire Summer!
The camp will aim to incorporate fun and creative activities with easy learning of core subjects, exercise and confidence building.
The ramifications from the Covid-19 pandemic on childrens’ education and well-being have only just begun and will continue to echo for some time to come, and so Summer provisions like this are pivotal in ensuring students are able to stay active mentally and physically while outside of school time.
Many of our team members from our Easter Camp are coming together to volunteer, along with local volunteers from RBKC Borough, who, like us, are passionate about community support and integration, and have a personal connection to the area.
Each day, the children aged 5 - 11 were able to participate in 3 different activities, outdoor play and exercise and the meal. The activities are carefully planned by each of our volunteers and are tailored to each age group, 5-6, 7-8, and 9-11 throughout the day. Activities planned included gardening and seed sowing, food taste tests, still, life drawing, creating our own comics, superhero masks, dance competitions, football and more. Alongside our volunteers, we were also thrilled to have Sci 4 Us, a women-run STEM company, come on each Friday to do experiments and more with the children!
The goal of the activities, and camp as a whole, is to allow the children to activate their minds and bodies, challenge their thinking, find new interests and hobbies, and make friends in safe and stimulating environments.
School holidays can be incredibly daunting times for many families in our communities, with the pressure of managing childcare during the day for 6 weeks, while parents/carers still have to work, along with providing extra meals which many rely on school for. The HAF Government programme is now running across the UK, with the goal to alleviate some of this pressure and allow all children to enjoy a healthy, happy summer.
"It’s very important that children have activities to do during the holidays.
I can only go back to my own experiences and what I would have been doing if I didn’t have places my friends and I could go in a safe environment."
Marcus Rashford MBE
Sign Up (NOW CLOSED)
Parents / Carers are able to sign up for the offering directly through our website from June 2021 onwards.
Spaces were strictly first come first serve and allocated only to children aged 5-11 living or attending school in RBKC. Whilst we only have 30 spaces available per week, all children signed up after the 30 are full, will automatically be added to our waiting list, and contacted as and when spaces become available.
All children are welcome at our camps, including those with SEN, if you have a specific enquiry you would like to discuss with us prior to registering, please do get in touch!
This is our biggest project yet and will require the utmost effort. We will require volunteers and members of our community to help us with preparation, work and the summer camp itself. If you specialise in a certain area, whether that be your A-Level in a core subject, Social Media presence, marketing skills, admin, or you would just like to lend a hand where ever you can, then please visit our contact page and email over an inquiry!
If you cannot help us through applying a skill, but still want to aid the children within your community in some way, you can donate to our charity account (see details below) or via our GoFundMe Page.