Oxford City Council support community groups to deliver summer holiday activities for children

Published: Tuesday, 24th July 2018

Oxford City Council is working with 12 local community groups to deliver a wide range of summer holiday activities for young people.

The holiday activities – ranging from sports and cooking, to trips out and art activities – are available to young people aged eight to 19 at locations across Oxford.

The City Council’s Youth Ambition team provides £130,000 of grants to local community groups to provide holiday activities in Oxford’s less affluent areas: Barton, Blackbird Leys, Cowley and East Oxford, Cutteslowe, Rose Hill, Wood Farm, Littlemore, and Northway.

If community groups do not come forward with applications to provide activities in some of the areas, the Youth Ambition team – which provides weekly youth activities across Oxford throughout the year – provides its own holiday activities for the areas.

This year, 12 community groups were funded to run holiday activities for young people in the following areas:

  • Barton:
    • JSC received £15,250 to provide six weeks of activities – including music, arts and crafts, multi-sports, cooking, skating, table tennis, pool, fusball, and recycling  and cycling projects – for children aged eight to 11
    • JSC received £10,200 to provide four weeks of activities – including music, arts and crafts, multi-sports, cooking, skating, table tennis, pool, fusball, and recycling  and cycling projects – for children aged 12 to 16
    • Barton Community Association received £2,406 to provide a six-week programme of life skills – including learning to cook and supported trips to the supermarket – to help improve the health and well-being of young people aged 10 to 16 years old
  • Blackbird Leys:
    • Blackbird Leys Adventure Playground received £8,000 to provide activities – including cooking, football, music (a talent show called BLAP has talent), ice skating, swimming, a trip to Shotover, and arts and crafts – for young people aged eight to 13
    • Dovecote VPC received £8,000 to provide activities – including music, drama, dancing, cooking, sport activities, computer games, board games, and free and sensory play – for young people aged eight to 12
    • Leys CDI received £5,000 to provide activities – including arts and crafts, music, food, games, and sport activities – for young people aged nine to 19 years old
  • Cowley and East Oxford:
    • The Parasol Project received £5,973 to provide activities – including arts and crafts, sports sessions, dance, drama, mask and mosaic making, music projects, street art, cooking, and bushcraft sessions – from Monday to Friday, 10am to 3pm, at East Oxford Community Centre for young people aged eight to 19 years old
    • East Oxford United FC received £2,620 to deliver a one-week sports tournament, targeted to diverse communities, for 110 young people aged 10 to 15
  • Cutteslowe   
    • Wolvercote Young People's Club received £13,000 to provide activities – including film nights, trips, bowling, multi-games sessions, cooking, music/drama workshops, sporting activities, arts and crafts, graffiti sessions, and employability sessions – for young people aged eight to 19
    • Cutteslowe Community Association received £2,500 to provide activities – including a play scheme, forest school, trips, arts and crafts, cooking, sporting activities, swimming, drama, and dance – for young people aged eight to 11
  • Rose Hill:
    • Rose Hill Primary School received £12,989 to provide activities – including a forest school, hair design, pony handling and riding, video production, cookery workshops, and a play scheme. – for young people aged eight to 12
    • Rose Hill Junior Youth Club received £3,780 to provide activities – including sport activities, dance fitness, cake making, gym activities, community litter pick, film showing, hair design, nail art, pony handling and riding, video production, cookery workshops, and music and DJing sessions – to young people aged 11 to 16
  • Wood Farm
    • IYPP Wood farm received £16,486 to provide activities – including football, basketball, volleyball, table tennis, dance, athletics, dodgeball, cricket, t-shirt printing, and trips – for young people aged 11 to 18

Some of the community organisations applied to the City Council for complete funding for their summer holiday activities, whereas others only applied for top-up funding.

In 2017/18, 1,813 young people took part in holiday activities funded by Oxford City Council.

This year, the City Council’s Youth Ambition team received no applications from groups to deliver activities in Littlemore and Northway, and no applications to work with young people over the age of 11 in Rose Hill across the whole summer holiday.

The Youth Ambition team is therefore running holiday activity sessions from Monday 30 July to 24 August at the following locations:

  • Northway Community Centre and Tower Playbase (12pm to 6pm)
  • Littlemore Community Centre (11am to 5pm)
  • Rose Hill Community Centre (11am to 5pm)

This year’s Youth Ambition holiday programme is themed around diversity, and will include lessons on how to cook food from around the world, arts projects (including producing a mural about community), photography sessions, sessions on sports from around the world, and cultural trips.

Community groups interested in applying for next year’s holiday activities grants, can read more information about the programme – including the funding criteria – on our website. The City Council also provides officer support to help community groups make grant applications.

Separately, the Youth Ambition Team will also deliver a Streets Sports Programme – featuring football, basketball, dodgeball and more – for eight to 13 year olds from 30 July to 31 August across Oxford.

The sessions will take place in the City Council’s multi-use games areas (MUGAs): in Rose Hill, Littlemore, Northway, Greater Leys, East Oxford, Botley, Wood Farm and Barton.

Oxford City Council’s Youth Ambition team aims to help disadvantaged young people aged 10 to 21 years old from Oxford’s regeneration areas to be independent, healthy and happy.

Currently 25% of children in Oxford live below the poverty line, with three Oxford neighbourhoods having child poverty rates over 40%.

For more information about the Oxford City Council’s holiday activities sessions and streets sports programme, please visit the Youth Ambition website.

Councillor Marie Tidball, Executive Board Member for Supporting Local Communities, said: “Oxford’s young people are the future of our city and we want to ensure that the young people within our communities are happy, safe, successful, healthy and active citizens.

“We fund community groups to provide this fantastic range of exciting activities because community groups know their community, and they are therefore the best placed to provide bespoke activities in their area to help young people.”

The Parasol Project has received £5,973 funding from the City Council to provide summer holiday activities for young people in Cowley and East Oxford.         

Dan Norey, Manager of The Parasol Project, said: “Parasol is an inclusive project that works with young people in care, those with disabilities, LGBTQ, refugees, the local community and other groups who are likely to be disadvantaged or vulnerable. This summer we will be providing a range of arts, cookery classes, dance projects and multi-sports activities.

“Without the support of the City Council we wouldn’t be able to reach as many young people who need our support. We value the partnership with Oxford City Council immensely – they support us with facilities, grant funding and the sharing of resources, all of which has a massively positive impact on the young people we work with.”

“If you are, or know of a young person in East Oxford who wants to get involved, please get in touch.”

JSC has received two City Council grants, of £15,250 and £10,200, to provide summer holiday activities for young people in Barton.

Jason Carbon, Managing Director of JSC, said: “Without the funding from Oxford City Council, our summer holiday activities just couldn't operate. The City Council has been funding JSC for the past 12 years, and people in Barton know it’s a great partnership and we work tremendous together.

“We also work closely with Thames Valley Police, Bayards Hill School and Barton Community Association on the activities. Together, we keep children in Barton happy and occupied in a fun and safe environment during the summer holidays – it’s a unique, winning formula.”