Our Big Holiday project has been running in Heston for three years. Each summer, 100 places are offered to local children and families.
For 2018, it was designed with the following principals in mind
- Continue the ‘holiday’ experience. Each year children go on a trip as a holiday in a day experience.
- Offer a range of activities across all art forms that engage children, providing them with new skills to reapply in their own time.
- Include food as a focus during the project. The purpose of which was two fold. It would offer all children a new experience and a selection of life skills, as they learn to cook, try new flavours and identify where food comes from. It would also contribute to supporting families who might struggle without free school meals over the summer. As nationally it was predicted that up to three million children are at risk of hunger over the summer, as the absence of free school meals adds another £30- £40 a week on a household budget.
Facts and Figures
51 – participants (under 11yrs)
7 – participants (over 14years)
6 – parent volunteers
35 – number of repeat participants
38 – sessions joined and 1022 opportunities provided for participation through the project Young People
5 – young people employed via the project
95 – training sessions provided through project
90 – days of employment provided for young people. Weekly Evaluation
81% of children identified that they had been creative through the project.
65% of children identified an increase in the amount of things interesting them in daily life.
64% of children identified that they had been able to express their ideas confidently.
94.6% of children identified that they had learn something new about themselves because of the project.
30 x Art and drama sessions including clay modelling, bunting, masks, banners, still-life, puppets, origami, poetry, songs, raps, adverts, puppet shows, stand up comedy, storytelling,
16 x cookery sessions including fruit picking and making veggie wraps, smoothies, fruit salads, veggie sausage rolls, fresh corn, tray bakes, carrot cake, farmyard shortbreads.
18 x mindfulness sessions
3 x trips
1 x group engagement in community clean up
2 x group engagement in community art work
7 x parents volunteering in workshops and/or on trips
15 x parents/carers engaging on final trip
5% of children ate an adequate daily meal as a direct result of the project. Staff noted that some children repeatedly bought inadequate or no lunch during the project. These children were able to eat fruit and snacks that had been prepared during the cooking classes. Staff ensured that those with insufficient lunches were given food as a priority whilst offering it out to the wider group so as not to draw attention to the individuals.
95% of children tried new food because of the project.
Thought some of the children had cooked with parents before, others cited that cooking at home could be difficult due to younger siblings, confined or shared spaces and guardians availability.
During the fruit picking trip, some participants were frightened to touch plants. However the combination of creative practices with practical activity developed their confidence, curiousity and language skills. As such they became more confident to understand where their food was coming from.
Throughout the cooking sessions participants were encouraged to try new flavours at a leisurely pace in small groups. We noted that children were far more likely to eat a range of fruit, veg having picked, prepared and cooked it themselves. They also showed immense pride in sharing their creations with the group.
Development of participants
As observed by lead practitioners:
– Improved focus when partaking 5 minute guided relaxation and then into sessions.
– Improved oracy and confidence within group situations
– Ability to identify and vocalise a range of different emotions and empathise with those of others (using checkin/outs)
– Exposure to a wide range of artistic materials and projects improving fine motor skills, critical thinking and self evaluations.
– Exposure to drama classes and games improving cultural and social awareness, confidence and cooperation.
– Exposure to new surroundings improving vocabulary and experiences to draw upon for the coming academic year and those to follow.
Feedback from participants (recorded by the young people)
“Learnt cooking and best part is you can do lots of things and makes them feel calm and is fun to work with others. Art-learnt how to express your feelings through drawing and made them more creative. Drama- been more confident because they used to be shy and making new friends has been fun and fun on trips and feels happier”
“Biscuits, I’ve never made them before. It was really fun to all have a go and mixing and putting in ingredients. I felt happy doing this because I can repeat this at home to do something more productive than just sitting and watching t.v.”
“I Learnt about love and is about caring and being respectful and makes us feel happy. & Art-how to draw and I feel excited about drawing. Drama- I learnt to be more confident and how to act. Cooking- has been fun and I made new friends and I feel good and not alone”
“I’ve learnt that it doesn’t matter about how something is drawn but the creativity behind it”
“I liked Farm Trip, because I learnt things I didn’t know. It’s important to know whats dangerous and whats not.”
“Doing lots of teamwork- building trust and encouraging more people to come. Good because it gives u stuff to do and u meet new people, also builds confidence and people are kind”
“It feels accomplished when I cook my own food also storytelling”
“Being creative in art makes me feel relaxed”