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Jack Brooke-Battersby
By Jack Brooke-Battersby

Senior Staff Writer

22 July 2020

| | 4 min read

Community

Popular holiday programme returns as Newcastle's Best Summer Ever presents ‘Summer of Change'

A popular citywide food and activity programme is set for a post-lockdown comeback to support families across Newcastle.

Newcastle's Best Summer Ever 2019
Newcastle's Best Summer Ever 2019

Newcastle’s Best Summer Ever was first launched last year and successfully provided food and fun physical activities for more than 7,000 children and young people across the city. This year, with our city still living under lockdown restrictions, the program is back and adapting to the ‘new normal’ with Newcastle’s Summer of Change.

Due to lockdown and social distancing rules, the play-schemes and youth clubs that played such a big role last summer simply can’t run in the same way. Instead, families will be getting direct support with home deliveries of food and activity kits, while some outdoor activity will take place with the support of schools or community spaces.

The project will also support families directly by dropping off activity kits and food parcels at family homes, in partnership with local community groups. Some activities will also be provided online, and families without internet access are encouraged to get in touch. The project will also be sourcing the set-up of local Wi-Fi access systems to ensure everyone can get involved.

Organisers have given assurances that safety will be of primary concern and that social distancing guidelines will be followed at all times.

John Downes, StreetGames North East Director and Head of Youth and Sport said: “We’re delighted to be working alongside Newcastle City Council to deliver this year’s holiday programme which will provide much-needed support to children and families who have suffered the full force of lockdown isolation.

“This year we hope to engage many children and their families across the city via mixed approach that will flex as social distancing changes. We will invest in local community organisations to provide support right to the front doors of children through activity packs, weekly activity programmes and food parcels to provide families with food over the summer holiday period. We will also be encouraging activities to take place in open spaces within the community for children and their families to reengage with each other as and when social distancing allows this to take place.”

Children playing during Newcastle's Best Summer Ever 2019
Children playing during Newcastle's Best Summer Ever 2019

Cllr Paula Holland, Newcastle City Council cabinet member for Education and Skills, said: “Every child in our city has been affected by coronavirus in one way or another having experienced months of disruption both at school and at home.

“The summer months can be incredibly difficult for many families struggling financially and we know there are many more who now find themselves in this terrible situation as a result of the pandemic.

“In partnership with the community organisations who will help deliver Newcastle’s Summer of Change, we look forward to seeing children enjoying themselves and staying healthy with this incredible offer of activities and resources.”

Cllr Irim Ali, Newcastle City Council cabinet member for Neighbourhoods and Public Health, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has been incredibly tough for all of us and given the success of last year’s Newcastle’s Best Summer Ever, we always hoped to be able to provide some enjoyment and relief for families with a similar programme this year.

“It will of course be very different, but the ethos remains the same. Children throughout Newcastle will have the opportunity to engage in a scheme that encourages activity and nourishment during the summer holidays.

“I’d like to thank StreetGames for their work producing the programme and I hope families across Newcastle can enjoy what’s on offer.”

Find out about activities and opportunities by searching Newcastle's Best Summer Ever on Facebook and register your child/children here.