Sunday 21 July 2024
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Nottingham activity clubs for October half-term holidays now booking

Parents and carers can now book Nottingham activity clubs for their children over the forthcoming half-term holidays.

More than 25,000 places were provided for pupils who receive free school meals (FSM) over the summer holiday in Nottingham this year.

A total of 59 community groups put on activities at 79 different venues.

 

The clubs will run again both weeks of the October half-term (w/c 17 and 24) as part of a continued link-up between the Council and Nottingham Forest Community Trust as its lead project partner this year. More activities will also take place at Christmas.

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The Council secured £1.8m from the Government’s Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme, which has been used to provide clubs for the 17,800 city pupils eligible for FSM.

 

Children all receive a free lunch, alongside a programme of activities focused on healthy eating, fitness and mental health. There are also a limited number of places available for children who aren’t eligible for FSM and these will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

The list of clubs, and the parts of the city they serve, are now available to view and book online through the Ask Lion website.

The £1,814,460 HAF grant has been allocated from the Department for Education with certain criteria attached. This stipulates that tackling holiday hunger should be through pupils who receive FSM attending holiday clubs.

 

The Council has consistently made £15-per-week supermarket vouchers available to all FSM children over holiday periods and these will again be allocated to eligible pupils automatically ahead of October half-term.

 

The support comes as people continue to face a challenging time because of the increased cost of living and energy bills, plus high inflation and rising interest rates.

Councillor David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “With household costs rising everywhere for families at the moment, which is a real concern for so many people, activity clubs like these can be a lifeline.

“Children take part in fun sessions with their friends and go home afterwards with full tummies after enjoying a nutritious meal. We understand what a difference they make and I’d urge people to take a look at the Ask Lion website now to make a booking.

“It’s so important that the Government continues this vital funding. In areas of the country like Nottingham there remains a genuine need for this kind of support.

“We have close to 18,000 children eligible for free school meals and many of these families are really feeling the strain at the moment. It is right and proper that we are given this funding to ensure healthy meals for children in need.”

 

Graham Moran BEM, Chief Executive Officer of Nottingham Forest Community Trust, said: “We again saw incredible numbers of children joining our sessions across the city this summer. More than 12,000 youngsters take part, while we served more than 30,000 hot meals and 22,000 sandwiches.

 

“The feedback we’ve received from children and parents has been incredible. The positive impact we have been able to give thousands of families across Nottingham reiterates our purpose and the reason we exist. Also, the benefit of Nottingham’s third-sector collaborating on such a large scale bringing joy to thousands of young people.

 

“I want to take this opportunity to thank Nottingham City Council and all of our partners, providers and organisations who supported us in the delivery of this programme.”

Nottingham City Council has previously endorsed Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford’s campaign to tackle holiday hunger.

At a meeting of Full Council in November 2020, councillors highlighted the levels of child poverty in Nottingham and gave a further commitment to support free school meals to children throughout the holidays.

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