September 2023

Wow, what a summer it’s been! Thousands of kids have enjoyed Holidays And Food at Leisure United hubs, where breakfast and lunches, multisport, nutrition and wellbeing activities were provided, across the north of England. The HAF programme totally exemplified how our great local community connections came together to provide outcomes that ticked every box of our reason for being. We really did unite in our love for football, fitness and fun and demonstrated that our hubs are here to support the health and wellbeing of everyone in the communities we’re part of.

The collaboration with local authorities and delivery partners from professional clubs and grassroot sporting providers has been outstanding. From Sheffield County FA, to Pass Soccer Academy and I am Sports (the kids loved your animal experience day) at Downhill, Sunderland to Sheffield City Council and Liverpool City Council. Links already in place have been strengthened and new connections made. Together we have been energised by the response to the scheme from the most important people of all – the kids who participated.

For four weeks of the school holidays, Monday to Friday, Leisure United’s hubs in Liverpool, Sheffield and Sunderland hosted various summer camps, providing lunches, physical activities, wellbeing sessions and dietary workshops to over 3000 children.

As with all Leisure United activities, we encourage feedback, and the youngsters were certainly forthcoming in telling us what they thought! Alongside football, dodgeball came out top of the favourite activities, with toasties and fish fingers proving most popular food choices. Great friendships have been made, and the coaching staff have received high praise. Participating families took the time out to give them a shout out, thanking the team for the hard work that went into scheme, for the fun their children have had, and the care and support they’ve received.

The most gratifying aspect has been the overwhelming enjoyment by the children, with most of them indicating they’d like to come back to a Leisure United school holiday camp again.

They told us “you helped me play better”, “get fit”, “you are fun, nice and kind”, “the coaches always listen to us”, they most enjoyed “being active”, “being good at it”, “getting better at football”, “playing with friends” and “learning new tricks”. Our favourite piece of feedback related to what one youngster at Leisure United Sheffield has enjoyed most… “Evrthink” which we’re interpreting as a positive ?

What a fantastic initiative, now – just like the kids – we can’t wait for the next school holidays!