On Wednesday 22nd December Councillor Louise McKinlay, Deputy Leader of Essex County Council and Cabinet Member for Communities, was joined by the Children and Families Minister, Will Quince MP, at Colchester Academy in his constituency to visit one of Essex’s ‘ActiVate School Holiday Camps.’
ActivAte is the Holiday Activity and Food programme across Essex, run by Active Essex in conjunction with Essex County Council on behalf of the Department for Education. The scheme is delivered by a number of trusted local partners.
The Holiday Activities and Food programme has supported more than 600,000 children with healthy food and fun during the summer holidays. The programme has continued during the Autumn Half Term and now into the Christmas Holidays. The sessions are free to attend and targeted to those on benefits based free school meals. Essex County Council has also funded additional places for children from working families and those with special educational needs or disabilities.
The news was recently announced by Government that this scheme will continue for the next three years. This news has been welcomed by the Conservative led Essex County Council who will continue to run their successful ActiVate summer camps across the County.
Councillor Louise McKinlay said, “Essex County Council has been proud to support thousands of local children through our ActiVate Holiday Camps which provide youngsters across Essex with healthy meals and activities during the school holidays. There is a rich variety of different camps across Essex, with varying activities. As the Cabinet Member for this area, it has been great to visit many of the camps, including Colchester Academy, and see the fantastic work they are doing.”
“I am delighted that the Government have committed to continue this funding for the next year three years and with over £4m of funding for this in Essex for 2022, I know we can reach even mor youngsters.”
The Government recognise the benefits of the School Holiday Clubs for young people, evidence has shown that they can have a positive impact on children’s well-being by providing consistent and easily accessible enrichment activities, healthy food, education on the preparation of food and they also demonstrate the importance of local partnership working.
Upon visiting the Colchester Academy ActiVate Camp, Children and Families Minister Will Quince MP noted, “It was great to visit Colchester Academy in my constituency to see the Holiday activities and food programme in action and I was very impressed. It was great to see so many young people enjoying their time at the camp and I am delighted that Essex County Council has taken the initiative even further by funding additional places for working families.”
“In Essex, we have seen the scheme support some of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children in our communities. The camps provide nutritious meals and enriching activities for children during the school holidays. It is excellent to see those benefitting from the scheme in my constituency, across the county and country.”