First launched in 2019, ‘Newcastle’s Best Summer Ever’ is a holiday activity scheme aimed at supporting the city’s 5 to 18 year olds through a combination of sport, play and nutritious meals. Funded by the Department for Education, the project brought together more than 70 local partners, including Newcastle City Council, GLL and FareShare, to empower more young people than ever before to remain Fit and Fed through the summer.

Last year Newcastle’s Best Summer Ever provided tasty, nutritious food and fun physical activity for more than 7,000 children and young people across the city. Now, with lockdown restrictions still in place and families facing hardship and uncertainty through the summer, Best Summer Ever is back to support children and young people to enjoy their summer safely.

StreetGames is one of ten providers selected to deliver the Government’s Holiday Activities and Food programme, which will support up to 50,000 disadvantaged children across 17 local authority areas and help them to stay healthy and active over the summer.

Due to lockdown and social distancing rules, we cannot run open-access play-schemes and youth clubs. Instead, we will run a hybrid scheme where some children can come together in schools or community spaces, and other families will receive home deliveries activity kits to enrich their holiday experience at home.

The programme is designed to combat holiday hunger, social isolation and inactivity, and targets children entitled to free school meals and others who can be classed as vulnerable. This includes young people who schools are worried about, but are not known to social services.   Best Summer Ever will work alongside the extended Free School Meal voucher scheme.

John Downes, StreetGames North East Area Director and Head of Youth and Sport, said:

StreetGames campaign Fit and Fed has been developed to ensure summer programmes are delivered by trained staff to provide 4 hours of activity and a meal at School Food Standards. Last year Newcastle’s Best Summer ever was a success across the city and we hope to build on that success this year. We’re delighted to be working alongside Newcastle upon Tyne Council to deliver this year’s holiday program which will provide much needed support to children and families who have suffered the full force of lockdown isolation.

This year we hope to engage many children and their families across the city via mixed approach that will flex as social distancing changes. We will invest in local community organisations to provide support right to the front doors of children through activity packs, weekly activity programmes and food parcels to provide families with food over the summer holiday period. We will also be encouraging activities to take place in open spaces within the community for children and their families to reengage with each other as and when social distancing allows this to take place.