27 May 2021

Committee agrees proposals for holiday activity programmes for children and young people

Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee has approved plans for a holiday recovery programme to improve wellbeing, mental and physical health amongst children and young people. 

The programme is being co-created by young people who take part in the local authority’s Pupil Participation Forum and local youth groups as well as Aberdeenshire Youth Council and Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament. 

The programmes will be developed in every cluster area for the summer, October and Easter holidays. They will be rooted in the principles of Getting Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) and have wellbeing of young people at their core.

Funding for the programmes will be allocated from the Holiday Recovery Reserve, which was agreed by Full Council in March. As well as a core offer for all there will be a targeted offer, supported by the Scottish Government, to support the most disadvantaged children and young people. 

All activities will be free at the point of delivery and bookable online. Plans have already been shaped by almost 800 young people and more than 800 parents who responded to a survey about holiday activity options, and focus groups with young people are ongoing to consider how activities such as mountain biking and dancing will be delivered.

The focus of the programmes will be on emotional, physical and mental health, and wellbeing, however as the programme develops into 2022 consideration will be given to supporting study support in schools.

Cllr Gillian Owen, Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee chair, said: “These fantastic holiday recovery programmes will give children and young people confidence building opportunities, a chance to nurture friendships and make new connections, and a range of options to support their health and wellbeing after a very difficult time for many. We know that wellbeing and nurture has a direct impact on attainment and these programmes are intended to support a positive appetite for learning.”

Committee vice chair Cllr Rosemary Bruce added: “I am particularly pleased to see the efforts made to encourage children and young people who may not otherwise have opportunities to take part in a range of physical activities to do so. These friendly and accessible sessions will be targeted to meet local need and we look forward to seeing the full range of options shared.”

To read the report in full please visit Aberdeenshire Council - Committees and Meetings webpage.  

To watch a webcast of the Education and Children’s Services Committee please visit the Aberdeenshire Council website.