The Isle of Wight Council has been awarded £407,660 to fund local organisations to provide free activities and a healthy meal to disadvantaged children during the Easter break (2 April to 16 April).
Councillor Paul Brading, Cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills, said he was pleased the authority could support so many local organisations working hard to make a difference to children during the Easter holiday.
Councillor Brading said: “School holidays can be particularly difficult for families because of increased costs, such as food and childcare, and reduced incomes – especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For some children, that can lead to a holiday experience gap. Children from disadvantaged families are less likely to access organised out-of-school activities and therefore miss out on the health benefits and social connections.
“However, by creating opportunities for children to take part in free holiday clubs where a nutritious meal is provided, we can address this issue.”
The aim of the government’s Holiday Activity Fund programme is to make free places available to eligible children for the equivalent of at least four hours a day, four days a week and for six weeks a year.
This would cover four weeks in the summer and a week’s worth of provision in each of the Easter and Christmas holidays in 2021. Organisations can also offer additional places to fee paying families.
The council will be seeking applications for the summer holiday (26 July to 1 September 2021) in the coming months and again, later in the year, for Christmas. Organisations should go to the connect4communities.org website for details as well as application forms and guidance.
Councillor Brading added: “I look forward to receiving details about the next round of schemes planned over the summer.
“I also urge local organisations to apply for a grant because these activities are incredibly worthwhile and make a huge difference to the lives of Island children.”
Further details of the activities on offer will be made available shortly.