Popular school holiday hubs cancelled for first time in 15 years

Council-run summer holiday hubs at schools in Bicester, Banbury and Bloxham will not be operating this summer.

Published: Friday, 26th June 2020

Following Government guidance, Cherwell District Council has taken the difficult decision to cancel the popular childcare provision at The Warriner School in Bloxham, The North Oxfordshire Academy in Banbury and The Cooper School in Bicester.

Cllr George Reynolds, Cherwell’s lead member for leisure and sport said: “This has been an incredibly difficult decision to make, but on advice from the experts at Oxfordshire Public Health, we can confirm Cherwell’s school holiday hubs will not run this summer. The safety of the children and staff has to be the number one priority and the nature of these active clubs means social distancing would be too difficult to adhere to.”

The popular childcare sessions, run by Cherwell’s Youth Activators, usually operate during the school holidays, with more than 2,700 bookings made last year. They offer a healthy mix of sports, arts, craft and games for children aged five to 15 years, providing a place to socialise and stay active.

Cllr Reynolds continued: “We know this decision will come as a disappointment to parents and children alike. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has meant the clubs are impossible to run. We hope by making this announcement now, it gives parents enough time to make alternative childcare arrangements this summer.”

Adapted family activities will be made available through the FAST programme during the school holidays, with further details being made available over coming weeks.

To help keep youngsters busy at home, Cherwell’s Youth Activators have been posting regular activities on their Instagram @youthactivators. They can also be viewed on Cherwell District Council’s YouTube channel.

The council is planning for the safe return of the hubs as soon as conditions allow.