Children and teachers all over the country are jumping for joy as the first day of the summer holidays has arrived.
But for parents everywhere, the time has come where the kids need entertaining on a daily basis and costs of day to day activities soar.
Often communities and volunteers come together to benefit parents and children in their areas in the summer months, which Forever Manchester helps to fund.
Tottington Holiday Playscheme is based in Bury and runs the group to provide safe, supervised, enjoyable and affordable activities for children for three weeks in the summer holidays.
Although the group has seen vast growth since its conception 38 years ago, they have kept their main focus on provision of art, craft, handicraft, sewing, sport, play and general enjoyable activities for children and maintained the fact that once registered the child can attend as little or often as they, or parent wants, be it just for a morning or afternoon.
Although the group provides affordable child cover for working parents, their main motivation is to provide a safe, fun environment for children in the school holidays to prevent them feeling bored or isolated at home if they live far from school friends.
As well as providing entertainment for the children, the group also gives teenagers great experience. Teenagers from the Tottington area and other high schools in Bury volunteer at the group, who the group leaders say are “invaluable”. The group gives these teenagers a chance to work and interact responsibly with children and has inspired many of them to go on to work with children in their careers.
A lot of the teenage volunteers attended the playscheme as children and enjoyed it so much that they wanted to give back to the organisers.
One great story the group provided us with was about Louise, who was an attendee of the group as a child and now has two children of her own.
Louise’s mother helped at the playscheme whilst Louise and her young brother attended the scheme and because her mum helped at the scheme Louise was allowed to be a young helper. She proved very quickly to be an asset to the Art room in the Infant Scheme, as did her school friend Kasia, who went on to become a teacher.
Throughout High School Louise helped every year and continued to do so whilst at college. She progressed to being a Play Leader and was eventually in charge of the Infant Art Room and contributing to the voluntary committee that organises the schemes.
She also became involved in Laurel Juniors an activity club that runs sessions for 5-8 and 9-12 year old children on Friday evenings and was also on the organising committee.
Having taken a job working with a voluntary group for disabled children she was only available to help at playscheme if she took time from her holiday entitlement, which she did as and when she could, and became involved with Art in our Junior scheme.
When in Year 8 Louise became too old to attend the scheme and went on to work until she had her children. She now has two children who both attend the scheme and Louise acts as overall supervisor in the Junior scheme whenever she can be available.
Louise says she enjoyed doing voluntary work with the children at playscheme and that it has helped her to choose the field of work she is now in but it also helped her be a better parent & have a good relationship with her children.
Groups like these are vital to parents and children in the school holidays. Working parents often find it difficult to take time off and afford to pay for childcare during the summer break, and often children’s brains aren’t engaged as well as they would be at school, which is what Tottington Playscheme achieves with its activities.
If you’d like to help us to fund more great groups like this one in the summer months DONATE TODAY and help children and parents in your area.