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Waterside Update

26 August 2021

Our Summer Holiday Club Programme at the Waterside Centre in Newbury has been a huge success. We are thrilled that so many young people aged from 11 to 18 have taken advantage of the amazing, free activities on offer at our newly-renovated youth and community centre. Across the four weeks of the holiday club we have enjoyed welcoming over 700 young people to the centre, increasing from 35 on our launch day, to a peak of 79 on 11 August.

The activity programme has been very fluid across the holiday club due to the unpredictable British weather. Dry land activities have been taking place inside the Waterside Centre, while our young attendees have also been participating in outdoor activities (paddle sports, zorbing, rounders and football). We have made the water activities (kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding) an ever present across the HAF 2021 programme given their popularity and the wide exposure it creates for the centre across Newbury. We were also very grateful to our Charity Ambassador, Reading FC’s Tom Holmes, (pictured) who came along to lend his support in week one, which the young people loved!

The young people attending are really enjoying the chance to socialise and try new activities in a safe and exciting space. Each of the attendees is also given a free, healthy lunch in the hope that no young person goes hungry over the summer holidays.

Children on the programme have been able to leave feedback after sessions. Matilda (aged 11) and Ella (aged 13) sum up the common feedback we have been receiving from our attendees. Matilda told us: “Meeting new people, getting outdoors and trying new activities is what I’ve enjoyed most about the holiday club so far.”
Ella added: “The Waterside Centre Summer Holiday Club Programme has been a great way for me to stay active, socialise and have fun with other young people.”

Parents have also been leaving their feedback: “What a great resource! Fantastic opportunity to take part in activities and spend time as a group! The children have loved the range of activities and got to try things they otherwise probably wouldn’t have got to try. Also great to mix with children from other schools to widen their friendship group at an age they will start to form their own social life.”

We are particularly proud of the way our Waterside Centre activities staff have led by example, joining in with our paddle sport activities on the river, encouraging attendees to step out of their comfort zone, grab a canoe and join in as well.

Building on the success of the holiday club programme the Waterside Centre will continue to offer water sports group sessions and youth club activities with full details of dates/timings to be announced soon. We hope to open our climbing wall, meeting rooms, studio space and café for community use from late September.

Remember to follow all of the exciting developments at the Waterside Centre by following their new social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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