Popular school holiday hubs return for children most in need

Primary school pupils entitled to free school meals in North Oxfordshire are offered places at two holiday hubs over Easter.

Published: Monday, 19th April 2021

The free sessions, at the North Oxfordshire Academy in Banbury and Bicester’s Cooper School, were part of a pilot scheme funded through the government’s Holiday Activity and Food programme. Children who attended also received a nutritious lunch, as well as healthy snacks throughout the day, at no extra cost.

Nicola Riley, Cherwell District Council’s Assistant Director for Wellbeing said: “We are delighted to have been able to provide this service for families most in need in our district. Even at the best of times, school holidays can be a pinch-point for those on a tight budget and with the added financial pressures of COVID, these sessions can be a lifeline for parents.”

The hubs were offered Monday to Friday, from 8.45am to 5.00pm, during the two-week Easter break. Run by Cherwell’s Youth Activators, around 270 children were invited to attend the sessions, providing fun sports and games as well as more creative activities.

The scheme is expected to continue for May half term as well the six-week school summer holidays. It is hoped that some traditional fee-paying places will be made available at this time, should COVID restrictions allow. All the latest sign up information will be included in our online Activity and Wellbeing Hub.

Families with children under four years old and pregnant women are also invited to apply to the government’s Healthy Start scheme, offering funding each month for milk, fruit and vegetables.

Nicola Riley continued: “We are determined that no child will go hungry in Cherwell. During this difficult time, we know there are more people struggling, but help is available.”

For more information on the Healthy Start scheme, go to www.healthystart.nhs.uk/

For the latest on our school holiday clubs go to www.cherwell.gov.uk/activity-and-wellbeing-hub