The only holiday club in the village

11th August 2006 at 01:00
Far from being lethargic or anti-social, children are making the most of the long holidays through a diverse range of stimulating and fun activities such as DJ-ing, video-editing, DNA testing, football training, creative writing and drama workshops

A lack of holiday activities for children can be a real problem in rural areas, particularly when coupled with a shortage of childcare.

In 2002, a group of parents with children at Bishop Pursglove Church of England primary in the village of Tideswell, Derbyshire, decided to do something about it. The result was the Tideswell after-school club and holiday club, which runs from 8am to 6pm for the first four weeks of the summer break.

"The parents came together and talked to the head of Bishop Pursglove who said they could use the school's facilities," said Gemma Facer, manager of the club. "Then they formed a management committee, got funding from Derbyshire county council and were able to set up the club.

"The club means holidays are a lot less stressful for parents. It gives them a break and particularly helps those who work."

The club, which also operates after school and during holidays throughout the year, caters for up to 24 children aged between four and 11. "It gives the children a range of experiences and widens their skills," said Ms Facer. "We have children from a number of villages and schools, so they also get to make new friends."

The club charges a daily rate of pound;20 per child during the summer and children are offered a range of experiences from treasure hunts to visits to a butterfly farm.

Kelen Warhurst, 11, from Litton primary in Buxton, Derbyshire, said: "I come here every day because my mum and dad work. I would be bored if it wasn't on. It's really good because you get to play lots of fun games like rounders and skittles. Lots of people from my school come here and I get to make new friends too. You also get to choose what you eat for snacks and make some of the food."

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