4th August 2021

Thousands of children set to benefit from Easter holiday activities programme

Somerset County Council has joined with Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP) to organise a programme of activities for the Easter holidays, aimed at countering the triple inequalities facing Somerset’s most disadvantaged young people – holiday hunger, physical inactivity, and social isolation.

More than 2,000 young people aged 5 – 16 years will have access to these opportunities through the Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF) over Easter.

Organisations across the county will be offering four half days of activities to young people in receipt of free school meals. 

This includes 30 organisations who will be delivering face-to-face activities, as well as a virtual offer for children in areas where face-to-face provision is not available. Somerset Activity and Sport Partnership (SASP) has worked with local partners to provide a varied virtual offer which includes modelling workshops with Aardman Animations, science workshops, drama workshops and more. 

There are also some charged spaces available for children who do not qualify for free school meals.

Families will hear from schools about the provision available in their area.

Resources needed for these workshops will be sent home to children, along with food boxes which include ingredients for breakfast and lunch for one week, supplied by Morrison’s.

Jane Knowles, SASP CEO said: “SASP are delighted to co-ordinate these fun and enriching holiday activities on behalf of the County Council. We are so proud of our awesome and important local providers who have stepped up to the challenge of providing over 2,200 places for children in under 5 weeks in a Covid secure way.”

Councillor Frances Nicholson, Somerset County Council’s Lead Member for Children’s Services , said: “Somerset County Council has committed to extending Free School Meals provision for vulnerable families over the Easter Holidays, and we are pleased to be able to take this support further through the Holiday Activities and Food Programme.

“It is really good to see that Somerset has been able to arrange such a wide and varied offer of activities for these children to enjoy in the Easter holidays.”

To ensure all young people have access to activities and resources over the Easter holidays, a resources hub has been created of ideas to keep young people active and engaged. There are ideas and resources for sports challenges, arts and crafts, music and drama, wellbeing, food and much more. Also keep a look out for live ‘cook-alongs’ hosted on social media during the first week of the Easter holidays. 

Somerset County Council are asking families to share what they get up to over the Easter by using the hashtag #EasterHolidayActivities #Somerset on social media. The resources are for young people, families, and holiday club providers to use during the Easter holidays as part of the Holiday Activities and Food Programme, and can be found by going to: www.sasp.co.uk/easter-holiday-activities