Children and young people across Wolverhampton can look forward to a summer of fun as part of a £250,000 boost over this financial year from the City of Wolverhampton Council.
The council is investing money to organise and promote holiday activities which will keep younger residents across the city active, engaged and entertained, with more than 250 ‘Summer Squad’ events already scheduled throughout Wolverhampton between Saturday 20 July and Sunday 1 September – and more being planned every day.
This commitment to the city’s children and young people follows on from Leader of the Council Ian Brookfield’s announcement last month of a £600,000 boost for the city’s Youth Zone, The Way, which will see the council contribute £200,000 towards the popular facility’s running costs each year between now and 2021-22.
Summer Squad includes arts and crafts, holiday clubs, sports and games, family fun days, science workshops and much, much more with events aimed primarily at children and young people aged between five and 18. Most events are free. Parents, children and young people can see and book activities at www.summersquad.co.uk.
The initiative is the brainchild of Councillor Brookfield, who has made a public pledge to boost investment in the city’s children and young people.
He said: “Giving our children and young people the best possible start in life is a key priority for the City of Wolverhampton Council, and that’s why we are delighted to unveil this further investment and fantastic programme of summer activities.
“People of all ages have been telling me there’s nothing for youngsters to do in our city. That surprised me – since becoming leader of the council in May, I’ve seen first-hand a huge amount of good work going on. But I’ve also learnt it’s really hard for children, young people and parents to find out about it, easily, in one place.
“That’s why we’ve launched Summer Squad – a new handy guide to what’s happening in Wolverhampton for young people online and in print. It’s also why we’ve committed substantial new investment in summer activities for our young people.
“We haven’t done this alone; everything has been developed with the support of young people. I’d especially like to thank pupils at St Matthias School, Colton Hills Community School and St Jude’s Primary School, members of the city’s Youth Council and the many fantastic schools they represent as well as our city partners and friends for their valuable input.
“There’s a huge amount going on right across the city and it’s great that there are so many activities taking place in our communities – there’s sure to be something for everyone, no matter what you are interested in or where you live.”
Summer Squad already features more than 250 events and activities, taking place at nearly 50 venues right across the city and offered by a wide range of local organisations.
They include dozens of special events at the city’s galleries and museums, a wide range of activities – including the ever-popular Summer Reading challenge – across Wolverhampton’s 16 libraries, and Disney-themed and family swim sessions, athletics, badminton, table tennis and tennis at the council’s WV Active leisure centres.
There are football schools with Wolves Foundation, and sports and games sessions in Wolverhampton’s parks in association with Wolves Foundation, WV Active and The Way. Residents are even being encouraged to apply for temporary road closures so that they can hold community events such as Street Olympics and picnics outside their homes.
Children and young people can get close to nature with a range of outdoor events – from Fairy Festivals and pond dipping to bat walks and boat trips at venues including Northycote Farm, Wildside Activity Centre and Gatis Community Space, while there is an extensive programme of activities being offered by HeadStart Wolverhampton in partnership with Gazebo Theatre, the WV10 Consortium and YMCA Black Country.
Organisations across the city are holding a number of family fun days while The Way, WV Active and Wolverhampton Wanderers also have holiday clubs, with bookings being taken now.
For more information, please visit www.summersquad.co.uk or pick up a free Summer Squad guide from local libraries. Guides will also be distributed to pupils and parents through schools over the coming few days.
The investment in the summer activity programme comes on top of a £600,000 boost for the city’s Youth Zone, The Way, announced last month, which will see the council contribute £200,000 towards the popular facility’s running costs each year between now and 2021-22.
Groups organising activities for children and young people this summer can get them included on the Summer Squad website by emailing details to firstname.lastname@example.org.