Published: Friday, 12th August 2022

In his latest message to residents the Leader of Medway Council discusses free summer holiday activities for children and young people.

Dear residents,

I hope this message finds you well and that you are all enjoying the warm weather we’ve been experiencing.

With the school summer holidays in full swing, I know that some families will be looking for ideas on how to keep their children entertained over the next few weeks.

Medway is full of fun and exciting places to explore and enjoy including the UK’s only riverside salt-water lido at The Strand in Gillingham, the longest toboggan run in the UK at Chatham Snowsports Centre, adventures on the River Medway and eight Green Flag award-winning parks and greenspaces.

Head to our fantastic heritage attractions and take part in our new Medway Heritage Summer Trails. Families can pick up a stamp booklet from Rochester Castle, The Guildhall Museum, Eastgate House, Upnor Castle or Temple Manor and will collect a badge from each trail they complete. If you complete all the trails, you can unlock an extra-special sea plane badge, and be entered into a prize draw for the chance to win a bundle of family tickets for attractions across Medway. Normal entry fees to our heritage attractions apply.

There is also a whole host of free and fun activities on offer for children and young people of all ages and we’ve created a dedicated page on our website, to make sure you don’t miss out. 

Our Child-Friendly Medway and Medway Sport teams are also offering free weekly ParkSport drop-in sessions across Medway. The sports on offer include football, tennis, netball and rounders. Find out more.

Help encourage your child’s love of reading with the Summer Reading Challenge. The theme for this year is Gadgeteers which aims to encourage our younger residents to learn more about science, innovation and the world around them. Take part for the chance to win family days out, new books and surprise gifts. Our libraries are hosting a range of fun activities to support the challenge. Find your local library.

Young people aged 11 to 18, who have a free Medway Libraries account, are also able to borrow footballs for free from Gillingham, Lordswood and Walderslade Hook Meadow libraries.

Children aged eight to 17 can take part in a range of free sessions organised by our Medway Youth Service. Activities include a creative music workshop, skateboarding, NERF and a panic room. Find out more.

As part of our Medway Presents programme we are supporting a number of family festivals and events throughout the summer and beyond including Medway Culture Club Carnival, Electric Medway and Medway Pride - find out more.

All of these exciting activities support our aspiration to become a child-friendly city, providing more opportunities for our children and young people.

Our MedwayGo programme, funded by the government’s Holiday Activity Fund, is also running this summer. Children, who are eligible for benefits related free school meals, can take part in a broad range of exciting clubs and activities and those attending will also receive a healthy nutritious meal, as they would during the school day. Free Arriva bus tickets are also available for children who are taking part in MedwayGo activities. Find out more about MedwayGo.

All residents who are facing financial difficulties, due to the rise of the cost of living, can apply for help with their household bills through the Household Support Fund. The support offered includes supermarket and fuel vouchers. As part of the application, families whose children are eligible for free school meals will be provided with supermarket vouchers. The value of the vouchers will depend on the size of the family. We are committed to supporting Medway’s most vulnerable residents and I would encourage anyone who is struggling to access the support available.

Find out more, and discover the hidden gems on our doorstep.

Cllr Alan Jarrett

Leader of Medway Council

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