We hope that many of you saw the publicity on the Crich Standard website and elsewhere, advertising the summer activities for children and young people organised by members of Crich Patients’ Participation Group and the Covid 19 Mutual Aid Group.
The aim of this initiative was to provide a range of summer pursuits for children and young people in the Crich Medical Practice catchment area to help to ease, as far as possible, the negative impact of the Covid 19 pandemic and its associated restrictions. We wanted to do this by providing stimulating physical, creative and social activities which would enable them to engage purposefully with other young people and, above all, to have fun.
Despite the severe time constraints for planning and organising the initiative, our aim was achieved and three different activities were attended by a total of 83 children and young people:
Two sessions run by the Popalong volunteers for babies and young children up to the age of four
Two sessions of gardening and Forest School activities organised by Claire Teeling of Grow Outside
Two weeks of Holiday Club activities (a wide range of fun physical, sporting and creative activities) for children aged 6 to 13 run by Premier Education
All of these activities were extremely successful and the feedback was universally positive. There is no doubt that the children enjoyed themselves enormously – revelling in the chance to have fun with a group of peers after many weeks in ‘lockdown’. Some parents specifically commented that it had provided a critical opportunity for children to prepare for the return to school in September.
The aim from the start, was to make the activities as accessible to all, particularly in light of the pandemic and its associated social and economic impact upon many. It was decided it would be important to subsidise the cost of the activities as far as possible.
As with organising the activities, the time for raising the money was tight but there was an incredibly generous response from individuals, plus local businesses and organisations. Individuals living in the villages gave an incredible total of £780 and local groups or business contributed £1,710
We would like to register our thanks to: all the local individual donors; Active Crich for Everyone; Crich Butchers; Crich Monument race; Crich Standard; L & C Ellis; Lubrizol; Popalong and St Mary’s Church
In addition, we received £500 from Tesco’s Bags for Life Scheme, £400 from Derbyshire County Council’s Membership Community Leadership Scheme on behalf of Councillor David Taylor and another £500 from Amber Valley Borough Partnership Locality Grant.
The response from the community was incredibly positive and not only in terms of the generous financial donations. Deidre Offord and colleagues from St Mary’s Church, the Wesleyan Chapel and Crich Baptist Church volunteered to make sandwiches for all the children attending the Holiday Club; they made 270 packed lunches over the two weeks.
We were extremely grateful to the Glebe Field Community Centre who provided accommodation for the Holiday Club for 8 of the ten days, the Briars Residential Centre who welcomed the Club for two days. We would also like to thank the Fritchley Community Association for the use of Fritchley Village Hall and Crich Parish Council which gave permission for the Holiday Club to use Crich recreation ground.
It was truly a whole community initiative of the very best kind.
The Coronavirus pandemic undoubtedly highlighted the need for children and young people to be able to access a range of enjoyable and stimulating activities. Regrettably the pandemic is still with us but, even if it wasn’t, it is our intention to plan and run an activity programme for children throughout the catchment area of Crich Medical Practice during the upcoming half terms and, again, next Summer.