Rotherham Borough Council announces the return of ‘healthy holidays’ programme 

by | Nov 16, 2023

Image: Child boxing (credit: Healthy holidays)

With nearly 12,000 children eligible for free school meals, Rotherham has announced the return of ‘healthy holidays’. 

The plan is a nine day activities fair for children and young adults needing free school meals for the upcoming school holidays.

The programme is a National programme funded through by the Department of Education and is starting in Rotherham from Wednesday 27 December to Friday 5 January. 

Councillor Victoria Cusworth, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Rotherham Council, said: “We know that this winter will be a challenging time for many families with cost of living pressures and increased energy costs, which is why the Healthy Holidays programme continues to be so important.

“Our Rotherham Healthy Holidays programme continues to provide an excellent range of activities for children and young people at locations across the borough.”

Every activity session will include a free meal and over the course of nine days different activities for children and young adults will be held. 

Some of these activities include arts and crafts, swimming, street dance, football, parkour and boxing. 

After three successful years of the association, the council has partnered again with Rotherham United community charity for this winter venture.

Jonathan Allan, 44, the community programme manager for the community trust, said: “Essentially the aim is to provide physical activity and food during the school holiday period where deprived children may not always be able to access food, and families might be in poverty.

“Therefore they rely on the lunch provided by schools, and in the holiday periods they may not have a budget to continue to pay for lunches. 

“We work with local leisure centres in Rotherham — they provide swimming session and lend sports halls for  the children that helps develop vital life skill.”

The scheme has gotten more popular every year and Mr Allan believes this to be the result of their constant evaluation of activities for the young people. 

He said: “We do evaluations after the end of every camp where we ask parents, participants and staff members what’s working well and what isn’t working well and what we need to do to improve so we are constantly evolving and bringing in different partners to work with us.”

Parents must collect a unique reference number from their child’s school to access funded places.

The council is encouraging parents to book places for their children at the earliest opportunity. 

For more information to view the activities list please visit  here