Cambridge Holiday Club
What do you do?
At Cambridge we ran a free holiday club for one week, Monday- Friday, in the school Summer holidays between 10am & 12pm each day. We chose a theme and planned four tables of craft activities each day which were part of a timetable that included story- time, games and refreshments. Themes included ‘Daring Daniel’, ‘Creationkidz’, ‘Gospel Detectives’ and more.
Wealso ran a colouring competition with prizes and on the last day planned a treat which was something like a balloon release or a piñata containing sweets. We invited the parents and carers to the last day for a presentation of work or some years a puppet show or video.
How much work is
Are there any issues which have arisen?
What's the cost
We did some research and Worcester church was very helpful with advice and resources. The main preparation was done by two people and started a few months before. This involved several meetings to plan a theme, create a time table , plan activities and materials needed and set up a rota for the week.
We also designed a poster, flyers and a banner for advertising as well as T-shirts with the theme on and one of us dealt with bookings and information letters to parents.
We gave out balloons and flyers outside several local schools in the weeks prior to drum up bookings as we had no prior relationship with the local community. During the week the ecclesia helped and we needed about 6 people, depending on numbers booked on.
Work was setting hall up, registering children, helping the kids with activities then cleaning up. It was something everyone could help with.
Certain members were concerned about having kids crafts in the hall area so we covered carpets in tarpaulin and used plastic chairs.
Not all members were enthusiastic to start with but it became accepted after the success of the first one and the church got behind the clubs.
Originally we asked the local school if we could do a puppet show assembly but we were declined and they wouldn’t take our flyers so if a relationship can be built with them before hand and your church is known in your community this would be helpful.
Have you had a good response?
We would average around 25 bookings every year. From the holiday club we set up a youth group which had 5 local children attending regularly for about a year and the parents did start to attend a few church events.
A holiday club is an ideal way to get involved with local families and can be adapted to just a day or couple of days and half terms- the concept is flexible.
There is a real demand from young families for this kind of outreach. However to keep the relationship going after the week it is ideal to arrange further activities and invites to Sunday school and youth groups.
Cost of materials and advertising came to around £500 but it could be done much cheaper if need be . If you already had the contact with local families in place then this would be much lower and the work load would be less as word of mouth could be used effectively.
How long has it
We did this for four years running.
Have there been any challenging legal aspects?
Any training needed?
We had several members experienced in childcare which was useful but not necessary. Mainly just organisational skills for leading and enthusiasm during the week!
We already held Public Liability Insurance as we are a public space.
We made sure we were all DBS checked and declared that in the info.
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