Stockport parents have praised a summer camp hosted by Life Leisure which provides children with healthy meals and fun activities during the holidays.
Each year the Stockport leisure provider runs special summer camps at Brinnington Park, Avondale, Dialstone and Stockport Sports Village, as part of the Department of Education’s Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme to provide healthy food and enriching activities to all children.
Among around a hundred youngsters taking part were siblings Chloe, 11, Isla, eight, and five-year-old Leo, who return to the camp each year. Their dad Dave Needham, who works full time, said it’s a fantastic resource for all families in Stockport.
He said: “Its brilliant. Our kids have been coming a few years now and it’s something they always look forward to. It’s an outlet for them to go and play, enjoy themselves and make new friends.
“The staff are amazing – they have great patience. I think it takes a special kind of someone to look after kids and keep coming up with new ideas to keep them entertained and in line!”
Dave, who lives in Offerton, added: “Lots of parents have to go out and work over the summer holidays so it’s reassuring to know that their children are safe and being fed, and that you don’t have to worry about them. For a lot of parents, it takes away the burden of finding things for them to do, and of sourcing childcare.”
Children and young people who are entitled to benefits-related free school meals were prioritised for places on the camps which hosted more than 2,000 sessions over the Summer. Funded places were also awarded to children and young people from disadvantaged areas, classed as vulnerable, and those with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities.
Almost 200 children took part in the sessions run by Life Leisure’s Active Communities Team, with qualified coaches Ethan Pietkiewicz, Mason Barry and Bethany Platt coming up with a range of activities.
The summer events also included a specific camp aimed at children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
Ross McGuigan, Active Communities Manager from Life Leisure, said: “With the rise in the cost of living and more financial pressure on families than ever before, these camps have been a lifeline for lots of families in the area.
“Staff at Life Leisure look forward to the HAF camps as much as the children! It’s part of our role to show children how being active is fun, and working with so many children over the summer holidays really does make us feel proud. We already can’t wait for next year!”
The camps were support by Cracking Good Food, who supplied the meals, together with the Manchester United Foundation and Stockport County Community Foundation, who supported the activities alongside Life Leisure’s Activity Communities Team.