Free Christmas events programme for Newham youngsters

Canoeing

Sporting activities will be part of Newham's Christmas events programme for young people - Credit: Newham Council

This article has been published as part of Newham Council's Year of the Young Person, which celebrates the achievements of young people and highlights the services and support aimed at them.

Newham Council is offering a programme of free events and activities over the Christmas school holidays for children and young people who need it most.

The Government-funded Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme is providing free food and fun activities for school-age children and young people who usually receive free school meals or who are otherwise vulnerable.

This includes young carers and people from refugee and asylum-seeking families, as well as those being supported by children’s social care.

The main aim of the HAF programme is to tackle food poverty and holiday hunger, which the council said affects around one third of Newham’s children and young people.

A spokesperson added that isolation and a lack of physical activity often go hand in hand with food poverty and deprivation.

Lynne Crank, assistant director of Brighter Futures’ youth empowerment service at the council, said: “Many of our children and young people have experienced an extremely turbulent time since the start of the pandemic.

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"They have missed out on so much, so we wanted to make sure they had a fun Christmas whilst promoting the importance of healthy eating and physical activity.

“A key priority for the council is to ensure every child and young person is safe, happy and cared for, with access to positive activities to secure their long-term wellbeing.

"We are pleased to be able to put together this great Christmas programme.”

The programme offers a wide range of sporting, social and cultural activities for children and young people to enjoy.

It includes trips to the theatre and cinema, fashion design, sports, drama and dance workshops, cooking, filmmaking and music.

Some clubs are also putting on a fun day, where families can learn how to source, prepare and cook nutritious and low-cost food.

The council said a range of Covid-19 measures will be in place to ensure activities and events take place as safely as possible.

To see what is on offer and book a place on the programme, please visit: newham.gov.uk/children-families/activities-young-people-newham/2.