Edsential's Holiday Activity programme boosts morale across West Cheshire for thousands of children

28 October 2021

The Holiday Activity Fund (HAF), co-ordinated by Edsential on behalf of Cheshire West and Chester Council, provided thousands of children and their families with free nutritious meals and enriching activities this summer.  

Over 45 community, voluntary and faith-based organisations came together to provide much-needed face to face provision for over 4,700 children across the borough. After 18 months of restrictions this was crucial to help boost the confidence and morale of the young people in our local community. 

This summer’s Holiday Activity programme helped develop vital social skills and supported mental and physical health and well-being, with children participating in a whole host of free face to face activities across a choice of 75 action-packed holiday clubs.  The West Cheshire providers helped create an unforgettable summer for children and their families, by offering diverse enrichment activities, including trips to Chester Zoo, hairdressing, forest schools, hiking and much more. 

The holiday activity with food scheme - funded by the Department for Education to support children and families in receipt of free school meals – also enabled West Cheshire community-based groups to deliver over 23,000 healthy, nutritious meals. 

Parents were delighted with the impact this summer’s holiday activity programme had on their children. One parent said, “It provided a safe environment for my child and kept her gainfully engaged. This gave me the peace of mind I needed to enable me to go to work; knowing that my child would be well taken care of.”

The programme also supported 187 children with special educational needs and disabilities across West Cheshire. One parent said, “My son had previously developed high levels of anxiety, but thanks to plenty of positive encouragement and engagements with my child at his own pace we both felt comfortable, safe and happy across summer”.

Since its launch in 2019, Edsential’s Holiday Activity Fund has supported 35,000 children across Wirral, Cheshire West and Chester, and Halton. Bethan Cooper, Holiday Activity Fund Manager at Edsential Community Interest Company said:  

"This summer, we’ve been able to safely provide an incredible programme full of amazing diverse activities and wholesome foods in collaboration with the fabulous organisations across the borough. Our Cheshire West providers created such amazing opportunities for the young people. We are really looking forward to winter HAF.”

This December, Edsential will be co-ordinating the first winter Holiday Activity Fund on behalf of Cheshire West and Chester Council. This programme will run for four days across the school holidays providing a winter wonderland full of festive feasts and amazing adventures, including trips to the ‘I’m a celebrity, get me out of here’ studios, Santa's grottos, winter discos and much more! 

For more information please visit: https://edsential.com/holidayactivityfund2021/ 

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