Young people aged 13 and over, who live or go to school or college in Islington, can sign up for free Summerversity courses. For young people aged 16 and over there is also Launchpad courses on offer, all of which will help young people make the most of their summer holiday while staying safe. There will be a range of opportunities to try including kayaking, bike repair, carpentry, music, life skills, employability support and sport and fitness.
This year’s programme has been created in line with national and local Public Health guidance around social distancing. There are indoor and outdoor activities that can be done safely as well as a range of online courses.
All sessions need to be booked in advance, which you can do by contacting the venue, activity organiser or online at www.summerversity.co.uk. A free lunch in a bag will also be provided to every participant who takes part in an in-person course courtesy of the council’s Lunch Bunch initiative to help tackle ‘holiday hunger’.
For younger children, the Summer Reading Challenge has moved online helping children aged 4-11 keep up the reading habit over the summer and discover new authors and types of books to read.
Some Bright Start activities for children under 5 and their families are taking place online, including Come and Play, family Zumba and baby massage. Some activities will be held outdoors and socially distanced to keep everybody safe.
In addition, Islington’s 12 Adventure Playgrounds for children aged 6 and up are reopening from Monday 20 July with protective measures in place to ensure that they are as safe as possible. Places will have to be booked in advance and will be limited as the playgrounds will need to balance the needs of a child against making the most of the available capacity. Please contact individual playgrounds to make a booking enquiry for your child's space. Go to www.islington.gov.uk/adventureplaygrounds for more information.
Childcare will be available for children aged 5 to 11 years at a range of holiday playschemes. Priority will be given to vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. Childminders can also provide holiday childcare. See www.islington.gov.uk/holidaychildcare for details.
Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: “Council teams and partners have been working extremely hard to put together this year’s Heatwave programme. The Coronavirus pandemic has obviously created new challenges, but we are doing everything we can to make sure people are safe. In light of this, we are especially delighted to be able to offer such a high quality programme.
“Our Summerversity and Launchpad courses for older children are fantastic and have a really wide selection – from kayaking to costume making and podcasting to Carnival courses. There is bound to be a lot of demand, so make sure you to register and book as soon as possible. Most activities are suitable for complete beginners and no previous experience is required, so have a go and make the most of your summer.”
Full listings can be found at www.islington.gov.uk/heatwave or call the Family Information Service on 020 7527 5959. Information for young people is also on izzy-info.com. And you can keep up-to-date throughout the summer on Twitter @IslingtonLife.