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Harry Wearing
By Harry Wearing

Senior Staff Writer

18 June 2019

| | 3 min read

What's On

Newcastle ready for “Best Summer Ever!”

Children and Young people across Newcastle are set to enjoy their “Best Summer Ever” thanks to a partnership between Newcastle City Council and StreetGames.

NUFC Foundation host a football session
NUFC Foundation host a football session

Best Summer Ever is an amazing million-pound programme of events, activities, sports and healthy eating available to all children and young people across Newcastle throughout the school summer holidays.

The project will feature projects from over 70 different partners, including the Newcastle United Foundation, Hat-Trick and Bollywood Dancing as well as nutritional advice and healthy food provided by Fair Share.

£1.1 million pound funding to develop the project came from a Department for Education grant aimed at reducing the number of young people who experience “holiday hunger”, however Newcastle’s offer is open to all young people – aged 5 – 16 – in the city and every project is completely free.

The events will kick off on July 22 and be held at over 140 different venues across Newcastle, including schools, sports clubs, libraries and parks. Some specific projects may even include trips out of the city – to the seaside, museums and visiting Dippy the Dinosaur.

Best Summer Ever will also tie into other major projects aimed at young people in Newcastle, including the Summer Reading Challenge at Newcastle’s Libraries and the City of Dreams project which aims to get more children involved in the arts, culture and museums. This will help to create a fully inclusive offer with something for absolutely everyone to enjoy.

The project was officially launched at Bridgewater Community Primary School, in Newcastle’s West End, where pupils enjoyed a sample of some of the activities that will be on offer this summer, including football skills from the NUFC Foundation, dodgeball with Hat-Trick and Bollywood Dancing. There was also healthy eating advice and free fruit on offer, provided by Fair Share.

Councillor Clare Penny-Evans, cabinet member for communities with Newcastle City Council said:

“I am pleased to officially launch Newcastle’s Best Summer Ever.  

“This million-pound programme of events will have around 70 different projects across Newcastle taking part, showcasing a variety of activities, sporting events, design and crafts, dance, performing arts and healthy eating.

“The offer is open to all children and young people in the city and we are creating a programme that will suit everyone’s tastes and be fully inclusive – everyone taking part will get lunch and nutritional advice from our team of experts to keep them fuelled up during their chosen activities.

“Years of government-led austerity have had a real impact on the region and summer holidays can be challenging times for families. Unfortunately, as a result, many young people see the amount of physical activity they take part in reduce over the break and it is important we provide opportunities for children to be active, healthy and happy all year round.

“I hope everyone, from all communities and backgrounds, will really get on board and be a part of Newcastle’s Best Summer Ever and enjoy this fantastic opportunity.”

"This is a whole summer of activity, ranging from sports, crafts and healthy eating" 

Councillor Clare Penny-Evans

Jane Ashworth, CEO of StreetGames, said: “By securing this funding from the Department for Education we intend to provide young people with access to great activities, nutritious meals and fun summertime experiences.

"In working with Newcastle City Council, as well as hundreds of community organisations, we have developed an exciting, engaging and educational programme of events.

"Together, we will support more young people, families and communities to experience their best summer ever!”

It is estimated that across Newcastle over 10,000 young people access free school meals, an important source of energy and nutrition during the school term. However, school holiday periods can lead to increased pressure on families without school meals, breakfast clubs or after school clubs, this additional pressure can increase the likelihood of holiday hunger.

There is also evidence to show that many pupils reduce the amount of physical activity they enjoy over the holidays, this reduction can be 18 times higher in some of the most deprived wards in Newcastle.

The Best Summer Ever will engage with children across the city; evidence shows that 16 days of activity throughout the holidays is the perfect amount to ensure they remain health and happy.  

The programme will be delivered in partnership between Newcastle City Council, Active Newcastle and StreetGames, who successfully delivered a pilot of the programmed in summer 2018.

For more information and to book onto any activity that is part of Newcastle’s Best Summer Ever head over to the Active Newcastle website.

This million-pound programme of events will have around 70 different projects across Newcastle taking part, showcasing a variety of activities, sporting events, design and crafts, dance, performing arts and healthy eating.

Councillor Clare Penny-Evans

Cabinet member of communities