Holiday Activities & Food Programme (HAF)

CACT staff member with two young people in the garden

“I wanted to thank you so much for allowing my child Ashleigh to be part of this event. She absolutely loved it and would love to be part of anything you do in the future. I am also very grateful she was constantly entertained and asleep by 8.30pm each night which isn't the normal. She loved meeting other children like herself in Foster care and has made some friends” – Ashleigh’s Carer

Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) delivered an Easter Camp programme for 135 young people across three schools in the London Borough of Bexley, including some of the most disadvantaged children. 155 young people attended the 2021 Summer Camp in Bexley, along with 430 in the Royal Borough in Greenwich.

After schools re-opened in March following months of lockdown restrictions, CACT opened their doors to week-long camps during the Easter holidays to support young people and families. The tertiary programme which developed from the first Summer Camp in 2020, the Easter Camp (which made its debut in Bexley) followed the same structure covering active learning, youth club/creative arts and physical activities. In addition to the activities, young people were able to get a healthy breakfast and hot meal every day. Keeping safety as a priority in-line with government guidelines, young people were able to work in small bubbles and still socialise safely.

CACT caught up with two young people from the programme about experiences and challenges they faced during lockdown. Easter Camp attendee Qiyyama (11) said “In the lockdown, we can’t see our families like we could, so the Easter Camp is just a great way to socialise and be out of the house.”

Whilst Marvin (11) said “Easter Camp makes me feel really happy because you get to do something every day.”

The first week of the Easter Camp was funded by the London Borough of Bexley. Head of School Place Planning, Admissions, Major Projects & Transport Children’s Services Kevin Taylor said:

“This funding has allowed us to provide much needed support, activities and healthy food for our families who have and continue to face and overcome difficulties that have arisen during this pandemic. It was a pleasure to visit the scheme at Peareswood School run by CACT and witness, first hand, just what a difference these schemes make.”

“The scheme was well run and the young pupils some of who I was able to speak to were thoroughly enjoying their time and more importantly benefitting from their attendance.”

CACT’s Director of Youth, Health and Inclusion Charlie Macdonald said

“CACT is proud to work in partnership with Bexley Council to deliver holiday camps for young people, it is great to see young people having the chance to socialise, make new friends and challenge themselves in a variety of activities.

We have received great feedback from the young people and their parents and I would especially like to thank the schools that have supported us by allowing us to use their facilities”

CACT would like to thank local authority, venues, organisations and staff for coming together to help make this a great experience.

Special thanks to:

· London Borough of Bexley

· Peareswood Primary School

· Northumberland Heath Primary School

· Willowbank Primary School

· Rixos Restaurant