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Thousands of free school meals pupils offered activities for the Easter Holidays

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Craft activities, growing vegetables and a range of online sessions are being offered for free to 11,000 free school meals pupils in the borough to help beat the boredom over the Easter holidays.

More than 1,000 primary school children have signed up to a programme of activities through online sessions run by Revive, a collaboration of local churches and voluntary sector organisations.

A further 1,500 primary pupils have taken home a ‘Pretty Edible Pot’ from school today (Thurs) which contains soil, seeds and instructions to help them grow their own vegetables.

They have also received an activity pack containing instructions and materials to enable them to do craft activities at home.

Secondary school pupils are being invited to take part in the “Spring Plug In” by Phase Trust, a local voluntary sector organisation. There will be activities and challenges including dance workshops uploaded to YouTube every day, with Amazon vouchers up for grabs for those that excel.

Programmes are also being run by Dudley Young Health Champions, Top Church, Enlight and the Afro Caribbean Community Network. The whole project is being led and co-ordinated by Dudley Council for Voluntary Services (DCVS).

Catherine Driscoll, director of children’s services, said:

This is an incredibly worthy scheme which I hope will bring a smile to the faces of thousands of children and young people in the borough, many of whom have had to face really challenging circumstances due to the pandemic.
Delivering it has been a truly amazing effort by the voluntary sector in our borough, led by Dudley CVS and assisted by so many other groups. There has been so much to do, from setting up online programmes to packing up activity packs and hitting the road to deliver them.
Seeing the reaction from the children when they receive their goodie bags will I am sure make it all worthwhile, but I would like to add my own personal huge thanks to all those who have given so much time and effort to make this happen.

Funding has come from the Government’s Holiday Activities and Food programme, which provides healthy food and enriching activities to free school meal pupils.

Dudley Council has been allocated nearly £1.3 million for the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays this year. Around £80,000 of that is being spent on the Easter break, with plans now in the pipeline for “The Big Summer Social” which will offer four weeks of free activities over the summer break.

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