Summer programme of fun for Pendle children

Children in Pendle enjoyed a summer programme of art, games, team building, healthy food and making friends.

Children enjoying art activities
Children enjoying art activities

Harringtons Learning Centre - in partnership with Pendle Borough Council - took part in the Government-led initiative to host the summer programme for children aged 5-11 years old from Pendle and beyond.

The Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF) Fun Vibes, Active Lives, works in partnership with Pendle Council and other young people activities providers in the area.

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The programme provided activities for four hours a day, four days a week for four weeks; along with a healthy lunch for all participants, over the summer break. The initiative was open to young people between the age of 5-11 years whom were eligible for Free School Meals.

Founder and director of Harringtons, Gulshan Rehman explained the demand for the summer club was so high and wanted to take on many more children if only the space available was equipped to do so.

“When we put our name down for the HAF programme, we initially offered set number of places, but upon advertising we were inundated by applications from eligible families, and managed to secure extra funding to expand the project.

"We still had to turn people away though and it’s for this reason we will continue looking into new ways we can work with local authorities and Pendle families to provide all the help and support we can for children in our area," he said.

The project proved that there is a greater need for this type of activity and that programmes like this are very much in demand by the local community. The team now believe that children in Pendle deserve such kinds of projects to be a regular occurrence, especially coming out of the pandemic.

The past 18 months however has further highlighted the non-educational side of schooling such as socialising and interaction, not to mention children - and parents - who rely on free school dinners as an integral part of a healthy and nutritious lifestyle.

Gulshan added: “Young people have a lot of catching up to do, not just academically but socially too. While Harringtons Learning Centre has been overwhelmed with students who have missed the classroom when it comes to learning, as a supplement to home schooling and online teaching that took place throughout the pandemic, the need for children to interact with other children and people outside of their own family cannot be replaced or substituted.

“Harringtons is also looking to continue to deliver a robust programme whereby young people from Pendle can access and participate in fun and engaging learning activities be it after school or during the weekends.”

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As such Harringtons Learning Centre is urging Pendle Council accessible to make funds accessible to organisations like itself so it can work in partnership to meet the needs of young people and their families in the local area.