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Cash boost will help summer holiday club

Prof Greta Defeyter, of Northumbria University, with Children North East Chief Executive, Jeremy Cripps and Gillian Gibson, Extended Services Manager at Bridgewater School with holiday club children. Picture by Simon Veit-Wilson.
Prof Greta Defeyter, of Northumbria University, with Children North East Chief Executive, Jeremy Cripps and Gillian Gibson, Extended Services Manager at Bridgewater School with holiday club children. Picture by Simon Veit-Wilson.

An organisation has received a cash boost to help provide free school holiday activities this summer.

Children North East (CNE) has been awarded just under £227,000 from a £2million Government pilot scheme for its North East Summer Holiday Clubs project.

The initiative, which is being delivered at 16 primary and secondary schools across the North East, including one in Morpeth, will help families in financial hardship benefit from free healthy meals and activities during the summer holidays.

Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “For most pupils, the end of the school summer term signals the start of holidays, days out and a chance to make memories with friends and family.

“Other families, who might rely on the support provided by schools, are not so lucky.

“I’d like to congratulate Children North East, which will run the DfE North East Summer Holiday Clubs Project this summer to support the most disadvantaged families across the North East.

“This exciting scheme will open the door to exciting, engaging activities for young people, make sure they are getting a healthy meal, and above all, give them the summer holiday memories and experiences they all deserve.”

Jeremy Cripps, Chief Executive of Children North East, said: “This means we can continue to fund holiday clubs in disadvantaged areas as we did last summer when we received a Big Lottery grant. The clubs will run for at least four weeks.”

“We know from previous experience that parents will be relieved from financial pressure to feed children who usually have free school meals in term time and will be reassured their children are safe, entertained and happy.”

Last summer Northumbria University undertook the largest ever study of school holiday clubs in England.

Professor Greta Defeyter, Director of the university’s Healthy Living Lab, said: “Our findings suggest that holiday club provision offers the potential to have a far wider impact than previously evidenced on children’s health, wellbeing and education.

“They revealed that activities provided at clubs are one of the most highly valued aspects of this provision, both by children and parents.

“The consistent theme of ‘safety’ reported by children, parents and staff was quite remarkable and something not previously reported.”