Children and young people will benefit from an expansion of the summer holiday activities and food programme, thanks to a £400,000 investment by Oxfordshire County Council.
The money – made available to the council by the Department for Education – will fund wellbeing pursuits, life skills and health care initiatives for five to 16 year olds, such as swimming lessons, bike riding, dental care and hygiene.
This extra support will be allocated to ten localities: Northfield Brook, Banbury Ruscote, Rosehill and Iffley, Blackbird Leys, Banbury Cross and Neithrop, Banbury Grimsbury and Hightown, Carfax, Barton and Sandhills, Abingdon Caldecott and Littlemore.
Organisations supporting the holiday activities programme include:
- Oxford Hub – Blackbird Leys
- Wilderness Pioneers – Oxford
- Ignite Sport – Oxford, Faringdon, and Witney
- Elite Sport – Didcot
- Active Leaders – Sonning Common
This latest support builds on Oxfordshire County Council’s commitment to the holiday activities and food programme, which has already delivered 4,500 activity places for local children during the last Easter break. There are currently 25,000 days of free places available to children over the summer.
Eligible parents and families can find out further information about the free school meals scheme from their school or find out if they are eligible by calling 01865 328460 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The government has also given a final COVID-19 local support grant to Oxfordshire County Council to help provide support to families at risk of economic hardship with food and basic utilities during the summer.
Early years settings, schools and colleges have been provided with the resulting funds to distribute in the form of a supermarket food voucher or equivalent support over the summer holiday period. Eligible children in schools are those entitled to a benefits-related free school meal.
Councillor Liz Brighouse, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Youth Services, said: “The Oxfordshire Fair Deal Alliance has funded thousands of additional activities’ places over the summer.
“These activities will be targeted at children and young people who have suffered so much during the pandemic and will give them the opportunity to have a good time and enjoy life doing things they might not otherwise have the opportunity to do with their friends. Hopefully, they will feel refreshed and ready to start the next school year and all that it brings.”
The Oxfordshire Fair Deal Alliance has been formed by members of the Liberal Democrat, Green and Labour Parties, who will work together to achieve common goals.