We are set to make a major investment in supporting children to fulfil their potential
Cabinet members will be asked to agree an annual funding package to help children and young people learn, achieve and stay fed and healthy during school holidays.
What’s it all about?
Nationally and locally, it is known that children’s learning and health can suffer during school holiday periods. This is especially the case in deprived areas.
The scheme will build on a 2019 project in Kirklees to provide holiday clubs which increase levels of physical activity, promote healthy eating, encourage new friendships and help children and young people to thrive.
How much money will we invest in the programme?
If Cabinet members agree, we will invest £225,000 per year to continue funding the programme. It will then be co-ordinated by Kirklees Youth Alliance, a not-for-profit network of local youth organisations who provide positive activities.
The aim is to work together in promoting learning and achieving good health outcomes in a fun and safe environment.
Cllr Viv Kendrick, Cabinet member for Children, said:
“We funded this programme for the first time in summer 2019 and it had an impact on improving lives. There were 46 different holiday clubs across Kirklees, holding 700 sessions, and they delivered a wide range of activities.
Hundreds of children and families made the most of this offer and, in addition, thousands of meals were served during the school holiday period. Thanks to the programme, many children returned to school ready to learn and engage.
We are now looking to continue and enhance this work so that even more children are helped to enjoy the best start in life. Supported by hundreds of amazing volunteers, Kirklees Youth Alliance will play an excellent role in co-ordinating the scheme.”
Susan Greenwood, Development Manager for Kirklees Youth Alliance, said:
“Kirklees Youth Alliance is very excited about plans for summer 2020 and beyond. Learning from summer 2019, we hope to work with Fareshare Yorkshire and the council’s School Meals Service to ensure high-quality meals across the programme, as well as numerous family support organisations to ensure the majority of places on the programme are taken by children who will benefit most. This is an amazing opportunity for the council and voluntary sector to work positively together to achieve great things.”
The intention is to expand the original programme so that it operates in more than the long summer holiday. It focuses on the parts of Kirklees which are most deprived, but all areas are expected to benefit.
When will a decision be made?
A decision is due at the Cabinet meeting on February 25.