Food and activity program helps 5,500 children in Hartlepool

Hartlepool’s holiday activities and food program were carried out over the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays last year after government funding was given to the initiative.

It is aimed at children who receive free school meals linked to benefits, although others can also participate.

Council officers reported over the summer holidays over 5,500 children and young people engaged in the range of activities on offer including swimming, canoeing, dodgeball, bricklaying, dancing, drama and more .

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Hartlepool’s holiday activities and food program were carried out over the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays last year after government funding was given to the initiative.

Food boxes were also delivered, containing ingredients and a recipe booklet for three nutritious family meals, as well as health information sheets and an activity for a young person.

At Christmas, more than 3,200 young people benefited from program activities, including a visit to an ice rink, festive crafts, cooking and a roller disco.

The government has now announced new investment in the scheme for the next three years, with Hartlepool having given a maximum allocation of £595,500 to run the scheme in 2022/23.

A report from Sally Robinson, Board Director for Children’s Services and Joint Commissioning, highlighted the initiative’s success so far, with work already underway for the program in “2022/23 and into -of the “.

She said: “Feedback on the 2021 program from providers and children and families has been very positive with high levels of satisfaction with the offer.

“The range and choice of supply were seen as a strength.

“Children have engaged well with the opportunities available, pop-up events where children come together have been particularly successful in engaging those who are harder to reach and less likely to engage in more structured, learning-based activities. the center.”

Under the government’s 2022/23 plans, each local authority is to appoint a program coordinator to take responsibility for its implementation, and recruitment work has begun.

The implementation of the program in Hartlepool is also overseen by a steering group, which is already established and made up of representatives from different organisations.

The actions carried out in the summer of 2021 were carried out by 34 different providers, including 28 involved in Christmas programs, which included municipal services, associations, sports clubs and schools.

During the summer vacation and Christmas programs, the activities offered also all included the provision of a nutritional meal for young people.

The report is due to be presented to the council’s children’s services committee on Tuesday (March 15) for discussion.

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