Children across County Durham can enjoy a fun-packed summer break by taking advantage of a range of free activities during the school holidays.

The sessions are part of the Fun and Food programme, which provides holiday activities with healthy food for families on low incomes.

Durham County Council has received over £2.3 million from the Department for Education to provide the activities, which have been organised in response to the fact that some families can struggle to keep children fed and entertained while they are off school.

Activities are offered through the council’s leisure centres, family centres and libraries, including free swimming sessions, while some are provided by schools and voluntary and community sector groups.

Among the hundreds of sessions on offer is Carnivals of the Animals Theatrical Adventure, which will see children aged between three and 10 go on a magical and musical theatrical adventure, designed to spark imagination.

STEAM Ahead is offering exciting skills-focused activities, from building ride-on hovercrafts and coding drones, to launching compressed air rockets and taking part in archery and bushcraft. Children can also splash in puddles, wander through trees and cook on a campfire with Stomping Grounds Forest School.

Durham Area Disability and Leisure Group is hosting events in which children can design and make a sandwich with a range of different ingredients.

There are also activities specifically for children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities, and sports, weather permitting, such as swing ball, short tennis, badminton, basketball and indoor activities including new age curling and boccia.

Sessions to support children and young people with social communication difficulties and/or a diagnosis of autism are being provided by K-9 Comprehensive with Durham Neurodevelopment Hub. Young people can complete challenges and tasks alongside the team and learning dogs.

Information on more activities is available on the Fun and Food programme web page.

Cllr Ted Henderson, the council’s Cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said: “With the current cost of living crisis impacting on so many families, we appreciate that it is difficult for parents and carers to afford days out and trips which keep children occupied during the summer holidays.

“Our Fun and Food programme provides the ideal opportunity for children to enjoy free activities while also getting healthy and nutritious food at the same time. There are so many activities planned across the summer break so please take the time to find out more about what is going on.”

For more information on the Fun and Food programme to go www.durham.gov.uk/FunAndFood

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