Summer activities for young people

Fiona Taylor rightly highlights the high costs of summer child care. But there is another logistical nightmare to the summer break: finding suitable care – or activities at all – for the older child or young teenager.

One of our staff members wished to find activities for her 13-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son for some of the long school holiday. Both believed that out of school clubs and holiday play schemes were no longer appropriate to their age and interests.

Their mother was happy for them to travel by bus to the nearest town and was also prepared for them to take part in some volunteering work, if any was available. But there seemed to be no organised activities for them. And, unfortunately, most groups looking for volunteers have difficulties with insurance, child protection, and health and safety when it comes to young people.

The government is anxious to keep young people out of trouble and is even prepared to pay them to be good. But this money will be wasted with such a dearth of healthy, creative and engaging activities for young people.

Most parents do not have enough annual leave to cover all the school holidays, and not all young people are ready to be left home alone all day even when their parents are happy to do that.


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