Some are breakfast clubs where staff will take children to school, allowing parents to leave early for work. Others are for older children needing a safe place to go after school to do homework.
The Lighthouse after-school club in Southsea is a registered childcare service for children aged between four and 11, and can accommodate up to 30 children per session, with healthy snacks provided on arrival and at tea time. The club believes all children deserve a happy, positive and caring environment in which to spend their free time.
They aim to provide this by:
- Helping your child in their social and personal development
- Providing low-cost, high quality childcare to parents/carers
- Providing stimulating activities
- Encouraging free-thinking; forward ideas for the club
- Valuing all club members
After-school clubs – Aspley Salvation Army
Aspley Salvation Army has received an 'outstanding' classification from OFSTED following inspection of its after-school club in the town. First registered in 1998, the club has gone from strength to strength, building on the success of its 'good' classification in 2009 to be described as 'inspirational'.
The team scored an 'outstanding' grade across all categories, with the OFSTED inspector marking out how far the children develop for particular praise. 'Leadership is inspirational,' says the report. 'The dedicated team create outstanding provision for children, who thrive.
'Respectful relationships, together with detailed planning, make sure children in the early-years foundation stage make outstanding progress.'
The environment, staff, working with external partners and the safeguarding of children were all marked out as exceptional areas in which the after-school club provides for its young attendees.
It’s not just the club itself which excels at childcare provision – with its partnerships with local schools and detailed planned activities as just two areas in which it makes a difference to children’s lives – but also the excursions it arranges, from cinema to swimming trips and visits to local parks that helps create such a well-rounded and excellent service. This ties in with The Salvation Army’s long history of helping children and young people in the community.
Parents are also impressed. One mum said: 'My children have been attending the after-school club for seven years. The staff have been supportive, helpful with my eldest child who has autism. Excellent childcare.'
Another parent said: 'My daughter has loved every minute of the club. It’s a home from home. Great staff, fun activities - we couldn’t ask for any more.'
But perhaps the final word belongs to those who use the service themselves – the children. One 11-year-old who uses the club said: 'The Salvation Army is a fun place. I really like Fran [one of the leaders] and I'll miss her and the other staff when I leave. They're all so helpful and you can tell they care for every child.'
The Salvation Army runs summer camps in Devon and Somerset for around 60 children and young people from a range of backgrounds. The camps help give children a holiday their parents may otherwise have not been able to afford.
In the South West, The Salvation Army helps towards the cost of all children who want to go on its summer camp.
From its early days, The Salvation Army has worked to address the needs of children and families. We believe that intervention where needed at the beginning of family life will prevent serious problems later on. The camps offer children an opportunity to rest from the strains of sometimes difficult home lives. They offer a safe environment where children can develop their confidence, self-awareness and a bit of independence, as they learn to do things for themselves.
One of those who has benefited is 11-year-old Ashley-Rose from Bristol. She said: 'This is the third year I’ve gone. I enjoy all the activities and getting stuck in.
'There’s me and a few girls in my street who go. It is exciting. I love going on the climbing wall and the zip wire. It's great fun.'
Her mother, Natasha, a support worker for the elderly, said: 'It's a nice opportunity that the children can get involved in. They do lots of activities. It helps with child care as it’s a week taken care of in the summer holidays and they have good friends who go.'
Summers of Fun, activities and days out for all the family at Fitton Hill.
For the last five years we have had a great time with over 200 people attending our summer trips and activities. We have been to Chester Zoon, Smith Hills Petting farm, bowling, Lased Quest and for a BBQ on the beach, and in addition to this we do yet more youth clubs which are open longer. We also help local people run a funday on their street and this year we taught a load of people to cook.
Our summer activities are not just about young people, we organise things for the whole family to do together. Although we ask people to contribute we raise the funds to make these affordable to all. From six months to 60, this is one of the most popular and busy times of our year.