School holiday hubs reopen in the Banbury area for the summer season
The popular sessions, for children aged five to eleven-years-old have been running for ten years but were forced to take a break in 2020 due to Covid.
Work was completed earlier this year to allow the hubs to restart safely over Easter for families facing financial hardship, providing no-cost childcare for pupils receiving free school meals in Cherwell. These are now being expanded to include traditional, bookable places for fee-paying families.
Councillor Phil Chapman, Cherwell District Council’s Lead Member for Leisure and Sport, said: “The school holidays can be a challenging time for families trying to juggle work commitments with childcare provision. Our holiday hubs are now available to all families in Cherwell, providing fun, active sessions for children to enjoy over the six-week break.”
More than half of the 300 daily places will be given free of charge to children entitled to free school meals, thanks to a grant provided by Oxfordshire County Council’s holiday activity funding. These places are bookable through individual schools and include a nutritious, freshly made lunch, alongside healthy fruit and yoghurt-based snacks.
Councillor Liz Brighouse, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Youth Services, said: “We are proud to be working in partnership with Cherwell District Council to support local families. We look forward to expanding programmes like these across the county to maximise children’s engagement with projects supporting their physical and mental wellbeing.”
The hubs are being expanded this year and will be available in six different locations across Cherwell. The council's traditional sites at the North Oxfordshire Academy, Warriner School and The Cooper School, are continuing to run alongside sessions at Spiceball Leisure Centre, Kidlington and Gosford Leisure Centre and Bicester Leisure Centre.
The activities start on Monday, July 26 and will run throughout the school summer holidays until Friday, August 27. Fee-paying places are available at £15.60 for a short day (8.45am - 3pm) or £19.80 for a longer session (8.45am - 5pm).
Bookings for the sessions are now live and are being taken through www.cherwell.gov.uk/holidayactivities or by calling 01295 221 803.
Lunches can also be provided for an extra £5 per day and must be booked a week in advance. This can be done online or by phoning 01295 221 803.