A better Medway
Published: Monday, 3rd July 2023

Musical theatre, bush craft, and water sports are just some of the exciting free activity sessions on offer with MedwayGo over the summer holidays.

MedwayGo is a free, government funded, holiday activities and food programme for children aged five to 16 who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals. Along with lots of fun sessions, children attending will receive a nutritious meal, made to school food standards, ensuring that children have a healthy balanced meal as they would during the school day.

Children from Reception to Year 11 can take part in hundreds of exciting activities from Monday, 31 July until Friday, 25 August. The fun-packed sessions encourage children to be more active and make new friends while learning new skills. The programme offers activities at local schools and academies, sports and leisure centres and venues across Medway.

If your child is not eligible for benefits-related free school meals, many of the sessions are available to book for a small fee.

Families can also apply for free Arriva bus tickets if they are unable to travel to a MedwayGo session. Terms and conditions apply.

We are also holding a MedwayGo registration event at Medway Park in Gillingham on Tuesday, 25 July between 12noon and 2pm for families to find out more about the sessions on offer.

Doing everything we can to support Medway's residents

Cllr Teresa Murray, Deputy Leader of Medway Council and Portfolio Holder for Health and Adults’ Services, said: “We are committed to doing everything we can to support Medway’s residents so I am delighted that we are working with organisations across Medway to offer MedwayGo sessions to children on benefits-related free school meals. I hope lots of families come forward come forward to book some sessions and there is no need to wait until July for those who have access online at home or want to use a computer free of charge at one of our libraries. If families aren’t sure what the MedwayGo programme is, or don’t know how to book, I would encourage them to coming along to Medway Park on Tuesday, 25 July to find out more. Our friendly teams will also help enrol your child.”

Offering a fantastic range of free activities 

Cllr Adam Price, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, said: “The summer holidays can be a worrying time for families on lower incomes so I am pleased that we are offering a fantastic range of free activities, and meals, for children on benefits-related school meals over the summer holidays. MedwayGo sessions also give children the opportunity to have fun, make new friends and become more active. I am also pleased that children who are not eligible for free school meals can also take part in these excellent activities for a small fee.”

MedwayGo is funded by the government’s Holiday Activities and Food programme (HAF).

To find out more, and register, visit: go.medway.gov.uk

Children in Medway who receive benefits-related free school meals will continue to receive support over the summer holidays.

Families, with children who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals, will automatically be issued with a £15 e-voucher for each week, totalling £90.

We are using government funding from government’s Household Support Fund to provide the vouchers.

Residents 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 on offer includes supermarket and fuel vouchers. For more information, and to apply, visit: medway.gov.uk/HouseholdSupportFund

What’s on over summer for all children to enjoy

Take part in the Summer of Sport with lots of fun and exciting sports sessions taking place for residents of all ages including drop-in football, family Tai Chi and basketball. The majority of activities are free to attend but some do have a small charge. For more information, visit: medway.gov.uk/SummerOfSport

Our Medway Youth team has a summer packed full of free exciting activities. A gaming bus will tour Medway in early August and young people can enjoy two floors of gaming with a racing rig and virtual reality. The bus will be in Military Road, Chatham, on Tuesday, 1 August between 12noon and 6pm, Strood Town Centre on Wednesday, 2 August between 10am and 4pm, Gillingham High Street on Thursday, 3 August between 10am and 4pm and at Parkwood Youth Centre on Friday, 4 August between 2pm and 5.30pm. Activities are suitable for young people aged 11 and above. No booking required.

The team are also offering ice skating on Tuesday, 8 August, an evening at Ninja Warrior in Chatham on Tuesday, 15 August as well as a fun day at Strood Youth Centre with something for everyone to enjoy including archery, inflatables and face painting on Tuesday, 22 August between 2pm and 5pm. For more information, and to book, visit: medway.gov.uk/Youth

Young people aged 11 and over can also take part in a Big Camp at Buckmore Park between Tuesday, 15 August until Thursday, 17 August. Learn essential survival skills, including cookery and shelter-building, and take part in exhilarating activities like caving, archery, and much more. Costs £15 per person. To book email summer.youth@medway.gov.uk.

Summer fun days for children and their families have also been organised by the council’s Family Solutions service. They will be held at Chatham Children and Family Hub on Thursday, 3 August between 12noon and 3pm, at Deanwood Primary School on Wednesday, 9 August between 11am and 1pm, at Gillingham Children and Family Hub on Thursday, 17 August between 10am and 12noon and at Gun Lane Wellbeing Centre in Strood on Tuesday, 22 August between 11am and 1pm. There will be free activities including arts and crafts, water play and sensory activities as well as Creepy Claws and stalls from a range of partner agencies. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Our Child-Friendly Medway team has organised free drop-in multi-sport activities for children aged eight and above this summer. Led by coaches from Sport on Your Doorstep in partnership with Medway Youth Service, Medway’s young people can play football, basketball, kwik cricket and rounders. For more information, visit: medway.gov.uk/ChildFriendly

Children can also take part in a free family fun day at The Pentagon Shopping Centre in Chatham and in Chatham High Stret on Wednesday, 2 August. Meet dinosaurs including Blue, a baby T-Rex, and take part in craft activities. Booking essential. Find out more by following the Pentagon’s social media channels.

Immerse yourself in Medway’s history this summer with some very special guests at Rochester Castle and Upnor Castle including the 79th Cameron Highlanders Regiment of Foote Re-enactment at Upnor on Saturday, 22 July and a Knight Templar will visit Rochester Castle on Sunday, 6 August.

Bring history to life with Medway’s Heritage Summer Trails. If you complete all of the family-friendly trails at Rochester Castle, Upnor Castle, Rochester Guildhall Museum, Eastgate House and Temple Manor and collect all the badges you can get a £5 voucher to spend in any of the gift shops. Normal entry fees to the heritage attractions apply. Get started by picking up your free lanyard and stamp booklet from any of the included locations from Saturday, 22 July.  For more information visit: VisitMedway.org

Medway Libraries will host free sports themed arts and crafts sessions in libraries across Medway including paper plate frisbees, on your marks, get set, glue! And go fish! To find out more, and book, visit: medway.spydus.co.uk

The range of activities on offer supports Medway Council's aspiration to make Medway even more child-friendly.

To find out more about the exciting events and activities on offer across Medway over the summer holidays, visit: VisitMedway.org

News archive