Holiday Club 2022
This summer finally saw the return of Holiday Club, for the first time in-person since 2019!
The dedicated team of 16 Leaders and Assistant Leaders spent the first half of the year meeting, planning and organising the activities and all the logistics. The two local upper schools, Cedars and Vandyke, reprised their roles as vital support in helping us get together enough sixth-form volunteers to buddy up one-to-one with our children and young people. Spaces for each week of Holiday Club were snapped up fast, which delighted everyone involved!
You learn as you go and you always know there is a Leader around.
We were joined by 26 children and young people aged nine to 17, many of whom have attended previous years and all were excited to get back through the doors for the adventures that awaited them. Our exciting three weeks of activities and workshops included everything from circus skills to swimming, bushcraft to tobogganing, performing arts to rock climbing – and anything in between! Some of our activities took place at our base, in the form of workshops like multisports, storytelling, song writing, crafts and a magic show; and other activities took us out and about with a trip on the coach to the ice rink, the cinema and the lake for a paddle in a canoe or a ride in the speedboat. This year, 37 enthusiastic local students came forward and offered their time in a role to support, encourage and act as a befriender to each young person so that they could achieve their potential and make the most of the opportunities on offer. These fantastic volunteers are so important to the success of Holiday Club and the scheme would not be able to run without them – hopefully we will see many of them return to volunteer again next year.
Ice skating was really fun - the polar bear support helped O__ feel more confident and she felt a sense of achievement when she stopped using it. I skated with her, also learning, which helped with her motivation.
I found it fun and rewarding.
A celebration of Holiday Club came in the familiar form of the Party Day at the end of our three weeks, attended by children and their families, volunteers and the leadership team. We enjoyed music from the steel band, a bring and share picnic and a lovely shady corner with some rabbits and guinea pigs to cuddle. And what a treat to have the return of our annual magic show to end the afternoon – followed by ice cream for all!
It was so lovely to see them excited to be back at Holiday Club having fun.
This year we gathered feedback in the form of written questionnaires, and 100% of responding parents felt we met the needs of their child, and that their own emotional wellbeing was positively impacted by having their child attend Holiday Club; 88% felt that their child made significant progress towards being positively empowered by having the opportunity to try new activities and experiences.
Given the fantastic experience K__ has had, it is hard to imagine how we would have entertained ourselves without Holiday Club. Knowing that K__ was in safe hands, was having fun and making new friends took a huge amount of pressure off us. It has made a huge contribution to the wellbeing of our family.
It felt incredible to be back once again, providing an action-packed three weeks for the children, invaluable experience for student volunteers and a well-deserved break for parents/carers.
Bring on 2023!