Home Children and Young People Partners across Knowsley collaborate to provide holiday provision support over half term
Children running enjoying indoor activity

Partners across Knowsley collaborate to provide holiday provision support over half term

by Jonathan Kearney

Knowsley Council, Livv Housing Group and One Knowsley recently joined forces to provide additional support for local voluntary, community, faith, and social enterprise organisations (VCFSE) over the February half term. Administered by One Knowsley, funding from the Council and Livv enabled extra capacity for existing Sports, Nutrition and Active Play (SNAP) activity programmes across the borough.

Knowsley Council contributed £25,000 towards the project from the Household Support Fund, with a further £10,000 provided by Livv. Small discretionary grants were then offered to local VCFSE organisations, which was managed by One Knowsley.

The government’s Holiday Activity Fund (HAF) was announced in November 2020 – an initiative to support children and young people that are eligible for free school meals. However, the programme does not cover half term holidays, leaving a gap in provision at these periods.

The additional funding ensured increased opportunities for children and young people to engage in enriching activities, such as sports, creative and wellbeing, as well as benefit from a healthy meal. Places were also open to those that aren’t on the free school meals scheme.

Cllr Jayne Aston, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Resources, said: “Our Household Support Fund is there to help families in need get back on their feet after the pandemic. We know families really appreciate the activities available during the school holidays. The sessions also have a really positive effect on children and young people, affording them opportunities that they may otherwise have been unable to access.”

Amanda Newton, Executive Director of Customer Insight at Livv Housing Group, commented: “At Livv, it is our ambition to help tackle tough issues like poverty, to support children and young people and to work with the public and voluntary sectors to develop strong offers for the areas in which we operate. By supporting the local organisations and their outstanding work, this project ensured that more children and young people in the borough were seen, safe, active and fed and that they benefitted from engaging with healthy and enriching activities, outside of the school term.”

Racheal Jones, CEO of One Knowsley, said: “One Knowsley is delighted to continue to coordinate a response across Knowsley from the Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) sector, to deliver a programme of Sports, Nutrition and Active Play (SNAP) during the school holiday period for the boroughs children, young people and their families.

“This additional funding from Knowsley Council and Livv Housing Group helps to provide extra capacity in the programme of activities. I am incredibly proud of the continued response from the VCFSE sector and their collaborative approach to provide enrichment activities and nutritional food during school holiday periods through community-based settings.”

A wide range of activities took place throughout the borough during half term week (21 – 25 February), supporting hundreds of children and their families. This included daily safari trips with Explore Partnership, holiday clubs hosted by L14 Community Group, Halewood Youth and Community and Ministry of Children and Families, and sports and fitness sessions ran by Hype and Kab’s Fitness.

Provision also included activities for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) with sessions held by Moving Senses and Rainbow Kids.

Discussions are now in place to rollout similar support for the May half term.