What do meerkats and bouncy castles have in common? These are just two of the unusual sights that you would have seen last week if you were passing by our playing fields and community garden!
Over five days, more than 80 local children joined us for a special Easter Holiday Club for a wide range of activities which ranged from trampolining, to singing sea shanties with pirates, and getting up close and friendly with animals at a petting zoo.
Most of the children taking part come from families who have faced particular pressures over the past year due to the pandemic and are guests of our Food Bank and new Family Fuelbank. The Holiday Club was made possible thanks to the generous funding of BBC Children in Need who are long-term partners of our work with families at BDCA.
Andrea, who works in our Children and Families team and helped run the club, says: “It was so good to be out again after lockdown and see all the kids running free around the field and enjoying themselves in the sunshine. Honestly, they had so much fun that they didn’t want to go home at the end of each day!”
As well as lots of fun and laughter, there was plenty of opportunity for learning too! Holly and Wolf from our Community Garden ran gardening sessions where the kids learnt about plants and helped us do some weeding, while our colleague Philippa – who is also an artist – ran art and craft workshops to help them explore their creative side too.
The feedback from the children was overwhelmingly positive, with most rating the week 10/10. ‘It’s awesome!’ wrote one, while another was overwhelmed and simply wrote ‘I love you all!’
Stacey Cordery, Children & Families Project Co-Ordinator, says “It was an exhausting week but a truly fulfilling one! With many of the kids’ families living in overcrowded homes and facing serious financial pressures due to the pandemic, it was such a joy and blessing to help them get out in the fresh air, see their happy faces and hear their laughter.”
“We’d also like to say a special thank you to our volunteers who took part (including several who were observing Ramadan!), our colleagues who ran workshops, our partner charity NewDay who helped accommodate us, and our wonderful funding partners at BBC Children in Need.”
To learn more about our work for families in need and make a donation, visit our Localgiving project page.
You can also watch us on TV on BBC’s Call The Midwife via Facebook here.