Easter holiday club invaluable for struggling families
published on 3 May 2023
Easter holiday club proved invaluable for families struggling with cost-of-living and childcare
A church and charity supported over 100 children through an Easter holiday club, taking pressures off families as many on low incomes remain gripped in the cost-of-living crisis.
The Salvation Army Oldham Fitton Hill relieved holiday hunger and financial family pressures during the first week of the school Easter break by offering a holiday club to the most vulnerable members of the community, as more families find themselves pushed into poverty.
In total 100 school-aged children attended the club across four days, and it largely targeted children receiving free school meals. The Salvation Army provided all children with lunch, snacks and refreshments throughout the session.
Running from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm, The Salvation Army received a grant from the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) fund, through Oldham Council, to cover costs and provided church volunteers to run the club safely and efficiently. The Salvation Army also used its own funds to be able to open up the age range to accommodate younger children, so families didn’t need to choose which child would benefit from the group. Local housing association ForHousing works closely with The Salvation Army in Oldham Fitton Hill and also supplied funding for the sessions.
Kim Rogers, family worker for The Salvation Army in Oldham said: “Families are struggling in plain sight; we see it day in and day out as the cost of living continues to rise. Increasing costs and school holidays combined meant a lot of children would have suffered if there wasn’t any support on offer. Many children may not have got substantial meals, some may not have even been able to eat at all, and this is why we felt it was important to hold a holiday club; to give a bit of salvation for those that are struggling.
“The HAF funding we received covered children on free school meals, but we decided to put our own funding towards the group and open it up to all as with the rise in the cost of living affecting everyone, even working families, there isn’t a clear gap anymore for who desperately needs support. It has been a huge success; we see the need right in front of us and we want to help. We hope that by providing schemes like this, we can help take the pressures off families that are struggling in a number of ways.”
Activities over the four days included sports sessions, a variety of games and craft workshops and The Salvation Army worked closely with local schools and its own networks to make sure the most vulnerable families would benefit from the provision.
While the school holiday club has now come to an end, The Salvation Army at Oldham Fitton Hill offers a warm welcome to the whole community and signposting to other services.
The Salvation Army has a Just Giving page, dedicated specifically to its work in Oldham Fitton Hill which can be found at www.justgiving.com/oldham-fitton-hill-the-salvation-army1 and whilst donations of all sizes are welcome, people are encouraged to donate only what they can afford.