In this week’s Leader’s message Cllr Alan Jarrett discusses half-term activity ideas, free school meals and staying well at home.
I hope this message finds you and your families well.
This week is the well-deserved half-term school break for children and teachers (as well as parents!) across Medway. However, with the national lockdown still in place we understand it may be a more challenging week than normal to keep your little ones and young people occupied.
Although the rate of infection in Medway has significantly dropped in recent weeks, people are still catching coronavirus. We must, therefore, all continue to follow the government restrictions and stay at home to help keep our loved ones safe.
Medway Council has organised a series of online activities for children and young people throughout the week. I am also pleased that the council has helped organise for thousands of children who are eligible for free school meals to be provided with food vouchers this half-term to ensure no child in Medway goes hungry. The voucher will be sent directly from the school to each eligible parent, enabling them to select the most appropriate food items for their child’s lunches.
For details of the online activities and ideas on how you can have fun and stay well at home with your family this week, visit our website.
Our Public Health team is running a number of virtual activity sessions on their Facebook page including family cook-along sessions, getting creative with Nucleus Arts, family fitness with Olympia Boxing and breakdancing for beginners.
If your family are not already members of our free library service, you can sign up online and instantly access thousands of eBooks, including a growing collection of children’s books, comics and magazines. Medway Sport is also continuing to offer free 10-minute bitesize fitness sessions.
Our youth service has also set up a range of group activities for young people aged 11 to 18, and up to 25 for those with additional needs, including creative writing, music, Minecraft club, online gaming club and art sessions.
Children across Medway are also invited to take part in a colouring-in Valentine's Day competition organised by Medway's UK City of Culture 2025 bid team, Medway Champions, Medway Place Board and local arts organisation Art for All.
We know staying at home is not quite how everyone had hoped to enjoy their half-term break, with many of you missing doing normal things such as browsing the shops. Unfortunately, due to government restrictions, some of Medway's businesses remain closed during lockdown; but many are able to stay open through a click and collect service. For any business struggling financially due to the pandemic, we are continuing to provide financial support.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank school staff across Medway for their tireless hard work, especially over recent weeks during the national lockdown. Teaching staff continue to ensure children across Medway are supported, through learning from home and opening up the classroom for vulnerable children and children of key workers.
If you do take your children out for fresh air and daily exercise this half-term, please stay local, avoid busy areas and continue to social distance.
Take care and stay safe.
Cllr Alan Jarrett
Leader of Medway Council