We would like to reassure you that we are closely monitoring the situation and working with the government and NHS.
For guidance on coronavirus and the latest information for Devon, visit Devon County Council’s coronavirus (COVID-19) advice pages.
Last Updated 6:59pm, 13 July 2021
The following is some of the feedback that we received about Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme events that took place over Easter 2021.
Names have been changed to protect identities.
Feedback from parents and carers
I cannot thank the staff enough for the programme that they ran over Easter. I just wish it was every day.
My daughter with disabilities loved to come every day. She would clock watch from the time she had breakfast till it was time to leave. She cried at the end of the four afternoons because she thinks she is not going back.
It has given my daughter a better insight to the animals and now she is asking to help with the animals at home.
It has been an extremely excellent farm club for her and really hope that the farm can gain more funding for this to happen in the summer especially as my daughter attends a autistic unit in an independent school so is off for the summer for nine weeks
I just wanted to say thank you so much for allowing K on this Easter programme.
He has been so happy doing it. He had told me he doesn’t have to be somebody he isn’t/put a front on when he’s with you, he didn’t feel judged and could just be himself – he has grown in confidence and made some amazing friendships and hasn’t stopped talking about the exciting stuff he has been able to do.
This really is such an amazing thing you do and he cannot wait to attend again soon.
Thank you so much
We were so grateful that C could be part of the Easter HAF programme this April.
We are truly thankful to you and your amazing team for all your hard work, your love and care you give to the children and the experiences they have. Each one of you go the extra mile to meet every child’s individual needs and provide inclusive care along with supporting us as a family. Nothing is too much.
We are truly grateful, it really has made such a difference to C It is so hard to find somewhere that meets all of his needs.
It is so lovely to hear the wonderful things he has learnt and it really shows how much he values small group work, it has been so heart-warming to hear he has made some friends (friendships are so hard for C normally) and we can tell he feels safe secure and very happy in your care.
He very much thrives off the practical approach to learning and this is so important for his self esteem.
Hello I just wanted to email you so you can send my thanks to everyone involved in the holiday activities. My daughter suffers with severe anxiety and was terrified but she was well looked after and had an absolutely brilliant time. It has really helped her confidence and she talked about what a great time she had when she got home. Please let the people who organised it know it was much appreciated and she loved it.
I am writing to say thank you for running such a brilliant holiday play scheme. My grandson went to St George’s and absolutely loved it. It was a pity more children didn’t benefit from the scheme but he loved it anyway. What a very caring and inspirational team you have. I do hope the scheme runs in the summer.
Feedback from providers
Some children never access any clubs apart from the free of charge after school clubs that we provide as a school. To have something exciting to look forward to in the holidays benefits their self esteem and has a positive impact on mental health. Much of their time during the day was also spent outside in the Forest School area this was wonderful as many of our children have very little outside space which they can access. We had very positive feedback from their parents and carers and they were so overwhelmed that there was no charge.
There was a girl with autism who attended the first 4 days, her mum was so impressed with her response to the programme and members of staff that she paid for her to attend the second week also.
We had two refugees in attendance for the first week, who had only arrived in the country 3 weeks prior. They spoke little to no English and were an absolute pleasure to have on board. Our activity based programme meant they could interact without using words, their smiles will be remembered for a long time to come.
For families whereby there are multiple needs, it gave the parents respite, time to do their own things without the children. Parents have fed back that the sessions gave their children more opportunities to socialise and learn new things where as otherwise they would be at home and restricted in what they could do as varied needs and challenges when they go out as families.
It was lovely for our disadvantaged children to have the opportunities that those able to pay have for holiday activities. One of the children also related how pleased he was to have made friends with other children outside of his school and that he will now play with them outside of school too.
We had a boy who has a difficult family background (divorce, drug history) , we and his family felt he could use our time with us to escape from these issues in a relaxed setting where he experienced doing things he would not usually do . climbing trees in the woods, den building, walking on the beach, making volcano explode. His comments to his gran was ” I’ve had the best time ever! I can’t wait to come back”
The second child who had a big effect on us was a girl who has medical issues and is from a very loving family of 2 other younger children who because of their age tend to get more attention at home. She loved the arts activities and making a bird feeder, having a cooked meal and being able to have quality time.
For all children walking on the beach collecting pebbles, throwing stones gave them an opportunity to chat to each other and make friends from other schools they would not usually encounter.
Many of our children live in flats with no garden or outside space. For them to have access to Forest School and outdoor sports was of great benefit to the children and their well being. Parents were really happy that the clubs were offered at no charge as their children would normally be excluded because of economic barriers.
Case Study 1 – Timothy and Jack
The two brothers come from a home background of substance misuse and mental illness. They have both witnessed this on many occasions in the home. The older brother Jack takes on a caring role of his younger brother, who is 5 years old. They both present as very quiet and the older brother is very thoughtful and will sit alone with his brother in great thought. It was very difficult for the first three days to get Timothy to even enter the building as he did not want to leave his Mum. The Youth Workers really tried to build a relationship with him, to make him feel more comfortable. He really seemed to like one of the workers and would stay with her for most of the session. All the while Jack would still stay very close to his brother to make sure he was alright. By the end of the third day, Timothy was laughing and having a good time and Jack the older brother was able to be himself and enjoy the activities. Jack has had to act like an adult at home, so it was lovely to see him enjoying himself as an 8-year-old should do.
By the fourth morning, Timothy came into the building smiling and with no hesitation. It was great to see these two boys grow in confidence over a very short period of time. Timothy had a positive day, engaging in all the activities and Jack was able to be himself and engage in what he wanted to do.
Case Study 2 – Safeguarding Concern
On the fourth day we had to deal with a serious safeguarding concern. Conflicting stories were told to the same Youth Worker, and through conversation it was decided to contact the Police immediately as we believed the child to be in immediate danger.
The Police are building a picture and are already aware of some concerns.
Case Study 3
Child X is a vulnerable KS1 pupil who has had cycles of input from social care and who we have current concerns about. Child X was invited to attend the Easter Holiday Club as we were concerned about the length of time he would not be seen by school staff and the lack of input/care and possible neglect / risk of harm he would be exposed to over the holiday. He attended for the four days the club was running. It meant he had opportunities for social and emotional development through a range of activities and playing with known and new peers. It also meant we had eyes on him over those four days so we could monitor and check on his wellbeing.