The aim of the project is to provide local children with safe provisions for the time they are outside of school, that can allow them to keep their minds and bodies healthy and active.
This Half Term, we will be running a day club, for 4 hours per day, comprised of various activities such as arts and crafts, sports, games, and exercise, play, learning, cooking and more. Through the activities, the children will be able to try out new skills, in secure spaces, and also receive a healthy snack each day which we will make and provide. For many families, the holiday periods can be an incredibly daunting time, as many families rely on schools for food and to allow them to work - these provisions will ensure parents have childcare available locally, as well as guaranteed food for their children.
Each day is comprised of various sessions, with provided materials, and tailored to different age groups (we will be able to cater for ages 5-11.) Session on offer each day will each work towards maintaining or improving overall wellbeing and confidence. For example, arts and crafts sessions which allow children to access their emotions and explore through tangible materials, sports which will keep their minds and bodies active, and group games and activities that increase social interaction and confidence - all areas which have also been greatly diminished by Covid-19 and its resulting lockdowns and restrictions on day to day life.
"The bigger picture is that we are able to strengthen the resilience and capabilities of our future generations."
Many families in the community rely on school services basic needs, and as such holiday periods can be daunting and worrying for many; coupled with the delays caused by COVID-19, and the slow resuming of physical services, means we urgently need to put our programmes into action. This will make sure children are succoured, in all possible aspects in which we are able to offer assistance.
The goal is to maintain and increase overall wellbeing for our local young people - this includes their physical and mental health. And whilst we will provide a plethora of physical activities to keep their bodies moving, exercise also contributes to their ability to cope with stress, anxiety and more. Furthermore, we will have activities during the week that are specifically targeted towards mental wellbeing and resilience.
The long term effects of Covid are beginning to show, including the educational and social gaps continuing to widen. The most disadvantaged in our communities are at risk of falling further behind if sufficient offerings are not in place for both short term periods and the long term, which can allow them to develop and recover fairly alongside their peers, and set them on a strong path for the future.
The activities will give the children and young people the space to get creative and nurture their well-being, a space to socialise and make friends, and overall enjoy their time out of the school safely. We will be able to bring activities to children that they otherwise might not get the chance to enjoy, such as those usually only offered as specialists paid for clubs. Investing in these young people, who firstly come from low-income families, but secondly, have been further affected by Covid, means we are working on our overall communities growth as well. The bigger picture is that we are able to strengthen the resilience and capabilities of our future generations. And lastly, it will allow an opportunity for other community members to volunteer, and give back, as we always welcome those who want to lend a hand on the day to day running, but also experts who want to bring a specific project or activity to the camp.
We will be able to accommodate 30 children for the 4 days, with all students living in the Ealing Borough, and aged between 5-11.
Priority booking is given to those on benefits related free school meals, however, this programme is open to all, with the first 30 spaces confirmed, and any cancelled spaces automatically given to our waiting list.
As for staff, many of our team from our Summer Camps will be returning once again, as well as some brand new local young volunteers coming on board to support, who have heard about our programmes through the community.
We were thrilled to have many children and families return from our previous offerings, such as our Summer Camp, Easter Camp, and online sessions, as well as many new children we had not yet had the chance to meet!
As always, each day we ran 3 different activities for every age group, specifically tailored to their needs and level, as well as plenty of our door play and games in our huge playground.
Activities this week ranged from Halloween themed arts and crafts, dance run by our very own professional teacher, competitions, bingo, and Black History Month sessions for all ages as well.
We were delighted to even have been joined by some very special visitors... local councillors from our community, who came to see what we had an offer and to hold Q+A sessions with the students.
On our last day, we were also joined once again by ex Ealing Mayor, Seema Kumar, who has been supporting our charity since its creation in 2003. Seema has continued to champion our work and work with the council to share our programmes throughout the community to increase access.
Cllr Seema Kumar
Cllr David Millican
Cllr Dr Fabio Conti
Take a look at some of what we got up to...