Published 28 September 2021
More than 11,000 children attended a free fun-packed Summer Extravaganza programme during the school holidays.
The Council recognised the impact Covid-19 restrictions and lockdown has had on families and invested £276,000 in the programme which included a free lunch or snack and a full line-up of events during July and August.
The sessions were open to children and young people of all ages with an additional 600 places offered to families most in need.
The Council was supported by 24 community and partner organisations and held the activities in 22 Council and community venues including three parks in West Dunbartonshire.
Popular activities included multi-sports camps, yoga, arts and craft clubs, quizzes, treasure hunts and cycling classes.
During the programme,180 children learned to ride a bike or improve their cycling skills through bike ability sessions. Rucksacks containing books, bubbles, water bottles and toys were given to 2273 youngsters. Access to a ‘fun fund’ was given to 103 families with nursery-aged children with disabilities, with care experience or those previously shielding, so they could plan days out including trips to the zoo, the seaside and the safari park, purchase new play equipment and access swimming and football lessons.
Art and design sessions were enjoyed by 18 families including children in Kinship Care and with additional support needs, while 50 families took part in party games, magicians, puppeteers and entertainers in Golden Friendship’s Halls in Clydebank.
Along with children enjoying a range of fun activities, the programme also led to six freelance artists being employed by the Clifftop Projects to support the 505 children who took part in creative arts. Families who attended Benview in Dumbarton took part in yoga, football and gymnastics and a visit from a mini-zoo and families of the 686 children who attended the programme at the Bellsmyre Trust took part in a range of arts, crafts and activities.
Some families were also able to access short breaks and Y-Sort-it supported Young Carers with a range of day trips and cycling activities and Working 4U enhanced their Summer programme to include weekly overnight trips for young people and also provided family food packs for outdoor cooking sessions in Mugdock Park.
Councillor Karen Conaghan, Convener of Educational Services said: “I would like to thank everyone involved in delivering our Summer Extravaganza, in particular our partners who helped in providing wonderful, engaging sessions for our families, children and young people. We know from feedback from parents and carers that this last year has been very difficult, so it was important for us to invest the money wisely on popular fun activities that can be enjoyed by both individuals and families. It’s clear from the record number who took part in this year’s activities, that we achieved that aim. I am also pleased that we were able to include lunch or a snack at all events, which I know will have been a great help to our families.”
Councillor Ian Dickson, Vice Convener of Educational Services, added: “I would like to thank all of our employees who worked hard to deliver this outstanding five weeks of fun activities. The record number of families who took part in this year’s programme is testament to our services and partners for delivering, high quality educational and engaging activities which are clearly needed and appreciated by families over the school holidays. We are also very grateful to all our partners for their support and for the part they played in making this year’s events so popular.”