Published: Monday, 20th September 2021
Thousands of children and young people across west Norfolk took advantage of a number of free and low cost activities that were offered through the summer holidays.
Alive West Norfolk and the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk pledged to support the Summer of Play. They also worked alongside Norfolk County Council and Active Norfolk on the Big Norfolk Holiday Fun programme to provide holiday activities and meals to families eligible for means tested free school meals.
Cllr Stuart Dark, MBE, Leader of the borough council, said: “I’m delighted to see that 26,500 young people took advantage of the summer holiday activities offered by Alive West Norfolk, this is 8,000 higher than the same period in 2019.
“Lockdowns in 2020 hugely reduced what we could offer to children and young people. They had a tough time, with school life disrupted, challenges to social interaction and few opportunities to get out and play with sports clubs and activities closed.
“We made a conscious decision to go beyond the summer of play campaign suggestions, adding reduced-cost opportunities across a range of activities and by launching the campaign early. We also extended concessionary leisure cards to more people to provide even greater access to very low-cost activities.”
“I’m pleased to see that the activities have proved popular and encouraged young people to have fun, socialise and be more active.”
Neil Gromett, Managing Director of Alive West Norfolk, added: “By teaming up with the borough and county councils, alongside Active Norfolk, we were able to offer fun sessions for £1, reduced to 50p for those eligible for an Alive Card Concession. Many families have taken advantage of these offers and I was pleased to see them using the Alive West Norfolk facilities.”
At Alive West Norfolk, the activities on offer included: swimming aged 19 and under, KASET Skatepark aged 6-18, Tumble Teds aged 5 and under, Alive Adventures soft play aged 10 and under, Roller skating aged 3-18.
In addition to the free and low cost activities and the Alive Holiday Club activities at the Alive West Norfolk venues in Hunstanton, King's Lynn and Downham Market, the council was keen to promote opportunities for free play within its network of play areas across the borough, in its parks and also on the beach in Hunstanton.
Cllr Sam Sandell, Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk Cabinet Member for People and Communities, said: "Across our 550 square miles there are over 80 play areas that we manage that are free and available for young people to enjoy. We also have green open spaces, particularly The Walks in King's Lynn, and the Howdale at Downham Market. Hunstanton features a beautiful beach as well as play areas, The Green and of course the Alive Oasis and Alive Adventures. The sun shone and there were many opportunities for children and young people to get involved in activities that help encourage a healthy lifestyle but also ensured they got to socialise with their friends during the summer break."
Summer of Play was a campaign run by Play England and a host of other organisations who took the pledge to enable all children in our communities to have space and time for play this summer. The pledge was made up of three elements:
- Fun - We will support children to have fun and express themselves through play.
- Friends - We will support children to have opportunities to play with friends and peers.
- Freedom - We will support children to have space, time, and opportunities for free play.