School’s Out schemes support families through the Christmas holidays
The councils are working with a range of partners to deliver the varied programme of activities to help families through the festive period as part of the Government’s holiday activities and food programme.
Abbeycroft Leisure and Explore Outdoor are once again offering outdoor cooking masterclasses to families in need during the school break in several locations across the districts – cementing the councils’ commitment to reducing health inequalities, as set out in their recently adopted Wellbeing Strategy.
Families are given the opportunity to learn how to cook a hearty and nutritious meal in the outdoors. In addition, they receive a free box of ingredients and recipe cards so they can prepare healthy, tasty food at home – supporting the councils’ ongoing ambition to combat holiday hunger.
There are also sessions for budding magicians and circus performers, free swims and lunch at a number of council leisure centres, football fun factories, arts and crafts sessions, sports days and even recording studio slots on offer for youngsters, with events at Stowmarket, Eye and Stradbroke in Mid Suffolk, and at Great Cornard, Sudbury, Hadleigh and Brantham in Babergh.
Although free places are allocated on a needs basis – with local schools identifying families in receipt of free school meals or eligible for other reasons – children not meeting this criteria are also welcome to participate in many of the events for a small cost.
Babergh’s cabinet member for Communities, Cllr Derek Davis, said: “As a parent myself, I know how hard it can be to entertain children during the school holidays, so I am delighted that our council continues to work closely with leisure providers to offer a range of activities to beat boredom and encourage everyone to lead fit and healthy lives. More importantly, we can make sure no child is hungry or lonely because of their family finances.”
Mid Suffolk’s cabinet member for Communities, Cllr Julie Flatman, said: “School holidays can be a particular pressure point for some families – especially at Christmas. We want to help everyone to be able to be active, eat healthily and take part in fun activities to help their overall wellbeing. For some, this is a fun way to spend a few hours – for others it’s a real lifeline.”
Full details of all the activities available, and how to book, are on the councils’ website.