Summer of Play’s jam-packed programme has been hailed a huge success after thousands of children and young people took part in a range of free events provided by Aberdeen City Council.
The programme gave kids a summer to remember after the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, from football to swimming, music to dancing, arts and crafts to science experiments, kayaking to nature walks – there was something for everyone.
Working in partnership with WeToo, Sport Aberdeen, NESCol, CityMoves, TechFest, Aberdeen Science Centre and Aberdeen Football Club Community Trust, the council and partners offered more than 15,000 opportunities for play.
Within four hours of the community-based initiative launching, more than 3,000 bookings had been made.
Education Operational Delivery Committee convener, Councillor M. Taqueer Malik, said: "We are delighted that Aberdeen City Council and partners delivered a summer to remember for all the right reasons.
"It was fantastic to see youngsters thrive and reconnect with friends in ways they haven't been able to for a long time. As the events were free everyone was able to enjoy what our great city has to offer.”
Committee vice-convener Councillor Claire Imrie added: “The feedback we have received has been wonderful, we are really proud the programme has been such a success. The initiative also had a great impact on parents and carers, with many enjoying the support and interaction with others attending the events.”
Youngsters and their families completing feedback forms rated the activities on offer an average of 9.5 out of 10.
Children commented that it was “really great fun”, “the best thing in the whole world” and “epic!”. One parent welcomed the chance to “sit and enjoy the sunshine while watching my children happily playing and making new friends" while another said, "So many ideas to try at home with our children – thank you for the inspiration".
The £418,000 programme, approved by the council's Education Operational, was shaped by feedback from families about the fun things they most missed during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Many of the activities will be community based, with a particular focus on regeneration areas as well as supporting families on low incomes, children and young people who have additional support needs, and care experienced young people and young carers.