Healthy Holidays 2021: A Summer of Fun

14th September 2021

What a summer it’s been! 

We organised a four week programme of fun, food and activities this summer for children aged 4 to 12 as part of Healthy Holidays, funded by Leeds Community Foundation. The initiative is all about supporting good health and wellbeing for young people and their families during the school holidays. This year in particular, we have focused on combating some of the challenges exacerbated by Covid. These included isolation, financial worries and access to nutritious meals.

Now that most places have opened up again, it was brilliant to spread our wings and enjoy sunny days out across Leeds and beyond. Read on to find out more about what we got up to. You can also hear what the children and families themselves had to say…

Trying a new skill

60 energetic and happy children took part in regular Multi-Sport sessions on Holbeck Moor delivered by Premier Education. It was a chance to get involved in structured exercise that they might not have otherwise been able to try. This included archery, football, dodgeball and lots more.

My son loves sports and looks forward to this every week. It’s been really great for me and my boy to come together.

My boys have loved multi-sports – it’s lovely that my four year old can join in with his brothers.

My daughter has been able to try out different sport activities that she wouldn’t normally try – the lads doing the sessions were really encouraging.

It has given the children structured outdoor activities and we have had no boredom.

Day trips galore 

Taking advantage of the fair weather and easing of restrictions, we were lucky to visit the farm at Temple Newsam, Tropical World and Roundhay Park. We even enjoyed a day at the seaside in Scarborough. A trip to York Maze proved to be the most popular outing. It was an amazing family day out with endless attractions, rides and shows to enjoy. 

The trip to York Maze was wonderful – we had such a laugh.

The trips were fantastic and helped me financially. We have spent a lot of time together and have done more than I could have afforded to do with three children over the summer.

It was a good opportunity for my children as there aren’t a lot of Youth Clubs around here. We had a fantastic trip to Temple Newsam – my family had a wonderful time.

Eating well

Throughout the month we were able to provide wonderful packed lunches thanks to the generosity of Janet, Ian and the team at Addleshaw Goddard LLP. They kindly donated 150 freshly prepared, delicious lunches. This meant we could not only provide meals for the children, which was much needed during the action packed days, but their parents as well.

There were Olympic-themed cupcakes and tasty treats for morning break provided by TransUnion.

The packed lunches were delicious and it was great that the adults were able to enjoy them as well.

Cooking up a storm

Each week we prepared healthy recipe kits for the family to enjoy. Featuring a variety of cultural dishes from around the world, they were a fun way to learn a new recipe and cooking skills whilst eating well. We took families to Mexico for beef tacos, Spain for chicken and chorizo paella and Italy for spaghetti carbonara. Recipe packs included interesting facts about the destinations and a colouring sheet.

It has all been amazing – from finding new meals the whole family will eat to keeping the kids entertained.

Home entertainment

We provided weekly fun and interactive activity packs every week. These featured indoor and outdoor games, crafts and gardening activities to keep children busy while they were at home.

The activity packs were a great help when having a day at home.

Summer success 

To draw the holidays to a close, we celebrated with an end of summer party on the Moor. The children and families that took part joined us for an fun-filled afternoon of inflatables, outdoor games and a party picnic.

Thank you as always to Leeds Community Foundation for the Healthy Holidays funding, and to our partners Premier Education and Addleshaw Goddard LLP for their help in delivering such a jam-packed and well received programme.

  • 95 children took part
  • 47 families took part 
  • 671 portions of food were provided 
  • 622 activity attendances 
  • 136 activity packs were distributed 
  • 72 recipe packs were given out

Expanding our reach

We were thrilled to welcome lots of new families over the summer that hadn’t joined us before. The response we have had has been overwhelming and shows how much demand there is for support over the school holidays within our community. 

The Healthy Holidays funding has enabled us to expand the work that we do with our families and see new relationships flourish. Some mums have gone on to volunteer with us or join coffee mornings now that their children have returned to school.

I’m a single parent and got involved with Healthy Holidays for the first time – it’s benefitted my children but me as well. It’s a lovely, welcoming group and great to communicate with other adults.

Supporters of Holbeck Together