How children and young people can make the most of this summer

As children and young people start to enjoy a well-deserved break after the academic year, Hampshire County Council is highlighting how they and their families can keep their minds active and stay energetic over the summer holidays

Jul 27 2021

family enjoying picnic

The County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Roz Chadd, said: “Children and young people in Hampshire have faced another particularly challenging academic year, and have done an amazing job of navigating the disruptions and uncertainties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as cope with the normal pressures of school and growing up. The summer holidays offer a chance to get some much-needed rest and are a great opportunity for younger people to focus on themselves and their personal wellbeing, whether that means spending time with friends, getting active outdoors, or learning something new.”

Councillor Edward Heron, Executive Member for Recreation, Heritage and Rural Affairs at the County Council, said: “Hampshire offers a wealth of activities to suit all tastes and budgets, helping parents to keep children of all ages entertained. All of our libraries are also running the popular Summer Reading Challenge which, this year, is nature themed and provides lots of incentives for children to have fun with books over the holiday break.”

Outdoor recreation activities
Hampshire boasts beautiful outdoor spaces in our country parks and countryside and multiple great attractions. Whether you’re looking for an animal attraction for younger children, or adrenaline-inducing sports activities for older children and young people, you can find something for people of all ages on www.hants.gov.uk/thingstodo.

Activity and food schemes – free and paid-for
A wide range of activities which also provide a nutritious meal are on offer for all ages, including family days and activities for young people. There are free spaces available for children and young people who receive benefits-related free school meals as well as places on a paid-for basis. Find out what is on offer locally by searching the Family Information and Services Hub.

Academic boosts
Children aged 4-11 can boost their literacy skills and their imaginations by taking part in Hampshire Libraries’ Summer Reading Challenge, which is running until 13 September. This year’s theme is Wild World Heroes – young readers are challenged to read six books to earn a medal.
The Department for Education (DfE) has provided free resources and tips for little ones for learning and speech and language support.  
The DfE has also provided a range of free home learning and online courses suitable for 4-16 year olds.
Secondary school pupils can participate in any summer school activities their school may be running – secondary schools will let parents know if they have activities available.

Helping young people plan for their future
Young people heading towards school leaving age and those due to move on to college or training in September are still able obtain information and advice from Hampshire County Council careers specialists – Hampshire Futures – including finding out more about apprenticeships.

Mental health
The Mental Wellbeing Hampshire website offers a wealth of resources for children, young people and families who are worried about mental health, or simply want to learn how to further improve their mental wellbeing. It includes listings for local advice and support services, online advice, and free helplines and message services.

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) support
The DfE has provided information online about specialist tutoring programmes for children and young people who have Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND), including: 
o students aged 5-16
o students aged 16-18 who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
o young adults aged 19-24 who have an EHCP.
The County Council’s online Local Offer provides details of services and information for children and young people with SEND, including education and childcare, and leisure and play activities.

Childcare support
Families who need help finding and choosing childcare can visit the County Council’s website for further information, including parents of under-fives who may be eligible for Government funded childcare.