A activity programme designed to keep children and young people engaged and entertained during the summer holidays was such a hit that it will be coming back for the October half-term.
Tens of thousands of local children and young people enjoyed the 320-plus activities on offer across Wolverhampton as part of the Summer Squad, a wide-ranging programme coordinated by the City of Wolverhampton Council – with the dedicated Summer Squad website receiving over 25,000 hits during the six-week holiday.
And the campaign proved so successful that it will return as WV Holiday Squad during the October half-term, showcasing events and activities on offer in the city for children, young people and their families between Saturday 26 October and Sunday 3 November.
The Summer Squad was the brainchild of Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, Councillor Ian Brookfield, who said: "The Summer Squad certainly captured the imagination of our children and young people.
"We and our partner organisations across the city organised over 300 events and activities, from arts and crafts and sports and games to holiday clubs and family days – and it was great to see tens of thousands of children and young people joining in the fun.”
Wildside Activity Centre in Whitmore Reans was one of those local organisations which joined the Summer Squad. The centre's Steve Downs said: "The Summer Squad made a huge difference to our bookings this summer – we ran 35 activities including seven narrowboat trips and six canoe sessions. Twenty-three of them sold out and all our activities had good booking numbers.
"Many of the bookings this summer were from people who had not previously been aware of us; it was great to see people travelling from other areas of the city to use our centre and we are already compiling details of our October half-term events to include in WV Holiday Squad."
Councillor Brookfield added: "Giving our children and young people more things to during the holidays also helped bring about a noticeable decrease in instances of youth crime and disorder over the summer, which is always an issue during school holiday periods. In fact, incidents of youth violence and anti-social behaviour fell by around a third in the first four weeks of the summer holidays compared to the previous year.
“With the next school holidays less than six weeks away, I am delighted to announce that we are now working on the launch of WV Holiday Squad to keep everyone engaged, entertained and active this half-term."
Details of events and activities will be available on the dedicated WV Holiday Squad website which will be launched in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, organisations which are organising activities for children and young people in Wolverhampton during the October half-term are being encouraged to submit details via www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/wolves-holiday-squad-form as soon as possible.