A Special Easter Break for Essex Youngsters

Active Essex

Active Essex would like to extend a huge thank you to our network of locally trusted organisations who delivered the Essex ActivAte programme during the Easter break!

Over the last two weeks more than 60 delivery partners have been busy making the Easter holidays extra-special for eligible youngsters in Essex and Thurrock. It’s all part of Holiday Activities and Food programme, which provides free holiday clubs for children and young people who are eligible for benefits based free school meals or from low income working families, and none of it would have been possible without the hard work and dedication of every partner, coach, food provider, and volunteer. Through the programme, we aim to support the physical and mental wellbeing of young people across the county, as well as enabling parents and guardians to go to work, seek employment, dedicate time to siblings, or take respite.

We are proud to have worked with partners to deliver a total of 159 clubs, including 23 hubs dedicated to those with special educational needs and disabilities, and 19 hubs centred around mental wellbeing support. This meant we were able to offer more than 41,000 free spaces for eligible children and young people, plus many partners also ran paid sessions alongside clubs to open places for those who aren’t eligible for government support.

A year on from the launch of the Essex ActivAte programme, we are immensely proud of the variety of activities on offer this Easter! With every partner offering their own unique selection of activities, sessions included everything from cooking, crafts, drama, gardening and animal encounters, to team sports, cycling, dance, climbing, martial arts and water sports. Our partners never cease to find new and exciting activities to provide special experiences for youngsters.

Alongside this, every child also received a tasty, school standard meal, and had the chance to learn about nutrition. Through this we not only aim to relieve some of the pressure on parents/guardians to prepare 3 meals a day during the school holidays, but also instil an understanding of how food and activity effect the body, so that young people may carry healthy habits forward throughout their lives.

As well as face to face support, we recognise that many children and families also benefit from activities and support at home. As such, this Easter we handed out 10,000 fun-filled activity packs, 10,000 family packs, and 16,000 Full Time Meals recipe cards featuring tasty and affordable dishes created by Tom Kerridge. All these resources and more are available on our Family Support Hub for those who could not attend clubs this Easter. Many clubs ran cooking sessions for young people to try cooking the Full Time Meals dishes, helping them develop important life skills and share the enjoyment of cooking with their family at home. A number of families were also lucky enough to receive planters to take home and get stuck in with some gardening at home too!

We hope everyone involved had a wonderful Easter break. If your family attended clubs or got invovled in any activities at home, be sure to share your photos with us on Facebook or Twitter. We can’t wait to reveal our Easter photos, videos and updates about the impact of the programme over the coming weeks. Watch this space!

Visit the Essex ActivAte Facebook page for all the latest updates.