A ‘Summer of Fun’ to support children and young people take part in a range of sporting, cultural and play based activities has been announced by the Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan.
Launching the £5m Summer of Fun project at Romilly Park in the Vale of Glamorgan, Julie Morgan said it was important we look at the full range of our children and young people’s needs and imbed social and emotional wellbeing in the pandemic recovery.
Summer of Fun will be run by local authorities from 1 July until 30 September and will provide a range of free leisure, recreational, sporting and cultural activities for children and young people aged 0-25 to help support their social, emotional, physical and mental wellbeing. Activities provided through the Summer of Fun will be free, in both English and Welsh and in addition to any regulated childcare provision. The Children’s Commissioner for Wales has launched an information hub to advertise the free activities available as part of the Summer of Fun.
The three main objectives of the Summer of Fun are:
- supporting fun and the opportunity for children and young people to express themselves through play;
- community based interactive, creative and play-based initiatives for all ages and;
- provide opportunities to play with friends and peers.
As part of the investment, £450,000 will be shared between Sport Wales and the Arts Council for Wales to deliver a pilot scheme that will enhance the school day by opening up school facilities for community use, to create a new wellbeing offer for children and young people. The pilot scheme will complement the Summer of Fun programme.
The Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan said:
The impacts of the last year have been felt by all of us, and particularly so by our children and young people who have missed many opportunities to socialise, to be active and to play. That is why, as part of our Renew and Reform plan for learning, I am announcing funding to support our children and young people to take part in a range of free social and wellbeing activities. Activities funded through the Summer of Fun will provide opportunities to support the social, emotional and physical health and wellbeing of our young people. Supporting these needs can also help them build confidence, reengage with learning and education, and strive to reach their full potential. I look forward to seeing the wide range of activities taking place this summer.
Sally Holland, the Children’s Commissioner said:
Children and young people have missed out on so many opportunities to play and socialise during the pandemic. I’m so pleased that the Government has responded so positively to the calls I made with the Urdd and Sport Wales for a Summer of Fun. The funding announced today takes into account the issues raised during a large round-table event we hosted on the subject earlier this year, including the need for more support for transport costs, Welsh medium provision and targeted approach to disabled children, those on low income and children from Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities. Let’s ensure every child and young person in Wales now has a summer of fun after such a rollercoaster year.
Cllr Kathryn McCaffer, Vale of Glamorgan Council Cabinet Member for Leisure, Arts and Culture, said:
COVID-19 restrictions have had a profound effect on all of us, with children among those most severely affected. They have been unable to attend school for long periods, which can have a significant impact on social development and activity levels as well as learning.
Loneliness and social isolation have been real problems over the last 15 months and the Summer of Fun scheme has been launched in an effort to address this. It will allow children to reconnect with each other and the outside world through a range of exciting activities. Using funding provided by Welsh Government, we are looking to provide a variety of opportunities across the Vale of Glamorgan utilising a wide range of resources and organisations. We are really looking forward to seeing children and young people enjoying themselves again.
The Summer of Fun is one element of the Welsh Government’s commitment to supporting children and young people to recover from the pandemic. With activities running as part of the £150 million Renew and Reform plan, announced by Education Minister Jeremy Miles earlier this week, to support learners, teachers and staff.