Children and Families Minister Vicky Ford joined with MP Caroline Ansell today to visit two government-funded summer holiday activity programmes helping disadvantaged young people in Eastbourne.
The minister was invited by Caroline to see first-hand the work taking place in the town.
She visited Buzz Active on the seafront which supports 11-16-year-olds through water sports such as kayaking and windsurfing.
Both Caroline and the minister also spoke to 15 and 16-year-olds at Make (Good) Trouble which teaches photography, short film making skills and journalism. Also at the visit was the Children’s Commissioner Rachel D’Souza who has been leading work on schools’ post-pandemic recovery. The minister spoke with children and took part in their team building exercises.
“I would like to thank the minister and the commissioner for coming to see the wonderful work these two organisations are doing to help young people in Eastbourne,” said Caroline.
“It is vitally important that children who suffer disadvantage are given the opportunities that build the confidence and life experiences that underpin future success.
“It is important that the Government funds this sort of work and linking providing food with learning is a positive move and I am a big fan of this approach.
"From speaking to quite a few teenagers it was obvious these programmes have made a big difference to them and their families.”
The Minister added: “I’d like to thank Caroline for inviting me to come to hear directly from youngsters and to see some of the brilliant work going on this summer. “Caroline has been a real champion for children and young people in Eastbourne.”
East Sussex County Council was awarded £1.6 million of government funding to run the Holiday Activity and Food Programme and the Eastbourne initiative is part of 55 such projects county wide. The aims of the programme are: support childcare during the summer holidays so parents can continue working. Build and level up skills, new experiences, new relationships for disadvantaged children. Tackle the attainment gap in education outcomes as well as providing food.