Free activities are keeping young ones entertained this summer

Aug 23, 2021 | Leisure & Lifestyle

From bug hunting, basketball, den building and dancing, children across County Durham have been taking part in fun activities thanks to a summer holiday programme.

Summer holiday activities are being supported by Durham County Council’s Area Action Partnerships (AAPs), who have provided funding to local organisations to host exciting programmes for children while they are off school.

The funding is part of the council’s Fun and Food programme, which provides free holiday activities and healthy food for children and young people with support from the local authority’s 14 AAPs and a £2.3 million grant from the Department for Education.

The project is in response to the fact some families struggle to keep children fed and entertained while they are off school.

In Durham, children are being given the chance to try fitness activities such as boxing and dancing in a six-week programme hosted by Go the Distance Durham Community Boxing Club.

The organisation received £5,600 from Durham AAP to provide the sessions, and children also have the chance to help prepare healthy food.

Durham AAP also provided £3,088 to the Cheesy Waffles Project, which works with children and young people with additional needs. As part of the summer programme, young people have been taking part in a range of fun and exciting activities and helping to prepare healthy food.

The council’s 3 Towns AAP awarded £1,660 to educational outreach organisation OASES, which has been providing outdoor nature-based activities for children.

With each session designed to be fun and enriching to help children discover the natural world around them, children have been taking part in bug hunting and den building as well as other fun learning games and activities.

The sessions have been designed to make sure the children meet their daily recommended 60 minutes of exercise, as well as the provision of healthy food and water. Children are also being provided with one week of healthy snacks to take away.

The remaining OASES sessions will be in Willington Town Park on 17 August and 24 August from 1pm to 3pm. Contact OASES on info@oasesnortheast.org.uk or call 03000 260535 for more information.

Spectrum Leisure and Community Centre in Willington was awarded £9,531 from 3 Towns AAP to provide over 40 sessions of fun activities.

Children have been taking part in sports sessions such as football, basketball, cricket and badminton, as well as creative activities such as, arts and crafts and sand art activities. The children are also being provided with healthy food.

And Mid Durham AAP invested in an extensive free summer programme for children across the seven villages within its area.

With £13,702 from its Area Budget, and £2,100 from Fun and Food, the AAP is supporting a range of sports and environmental activities for children aged between five and 11 which is being provided by OASES, the council’s leisure team, and LK Health and Wellbeing.

Cllr Ted Henderson, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for children and young people, said: “School holidays can be a challenging time for some families to keep their children fed and entertained, so it is important that free activities are available to provide this support as well as making sure children stay healthy and active while they are off school.

“It is great that so many children are enjoying the activities available in their local area. There are still a few weeks of the summer holidays left, so we encourage families to take a look and see what fun sessions their young ones can get involved in.”

To find out more about activities available for the remaining summer holidays, visit www.durham.gov.uk/FunAndFood