Tuesday 16 June 2015

A TINY mouse is heading up one of the many activities on offer for children as part of a summer of fun across Sheffield this year.

‘The Story of the Adventurous Little Mouse’ will be on at Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, as part of the city’s Festival of Fun.


Children visiting the event, which takes place in the site’s new Learning Centre built as part of its £1 million restoration Heritage Lottery Project, will be able to see the Hamlet and its cottages, workshops and forges through the eyes of the tiny creature and play along with the Storyteller as the story unfolds.

This is just one of a number of cultural and art based activities and events planned for the month long Sheffield City Council led Festival of Fun, which features a range of activities delivered in the run up to and the start of the summer holidays.

This follows on from a successful February Freebie event run by the Children’s University earlier this year when more than 50 adventurous and creative activities were run during the half-term holiday. It also replaces the hugely popular Children’s Festival, while retaining many of the same activities and events as held in previous years.

Activities planned for this summer include woodland fun, chicken keeping, circus skills, rock climbing, martial arts, sports, science, dance, drama and exploring the history of local areas.

Children can access the activities by buying a Children’s University Passport from any library across the city for just £2.

The Festival of Fun also leads into other activities planned for the city including Sheffield Beside the Seaside, where a sandy beach will stretch the length of the Peace Gardens this August.

Councillor Jackie Drayton, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families said: “The aim of the Festival of Fun is to provide as many activities across as many communities as we can and the vast majority of these will be free at the point of delivery to children and young people with a Passport to Learning. We know from our research that taking part in extra learning activities has a positive effect on attendance and achievement at school, which is of course a key priority for us.

“The Sheffield Children’s University is a really inspiring initiative and there’s sure to be something to interest all children in this summer of activities, whether they like arts and crafts, outdoor activities, sports or learning new skills. This is also a great opportunity to push forward the success of previous festivals but in a sustainable event. The focus of previous festivals has shifted over the last few years towards family activities and this Festival of Fun takes this element forward. I hope as many children and young people as possible take part in what I am sure will be an excellent and exciting summer of fun!”

The Sheffield’s Children’s University is part of a national initiative which encourages and celebrates participation in a wide range of learning opportunities outside normal school hours. It tracks and rewards Sheffield children who take part in voluntary learning activities including breakfast and after-school clubs, and activities in the evenings, at weekends and in holidays.  If they have a Passport to Learning they can collect the credits (one per hour), which lead to a range of 30 certificates and badges from 30 credits right up to 1,000 credits.

The Children’s University has commissioned its Learning Destinations – approved activity providers – to deliver various activities on its behalf as part of the Festival of Fun. These will begin on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th July in the final school week of the academic year before the activities begin in earnest, running between Saturday 18th July and Saturday 1st August.  The idea is that during those times, Sheffield children, young people and their families will be encouraged to try new activities, earning Children’s University credits at the same time.

Since the Sheffield Children’s University began eight years ago 29,075 children and young people have taken part – earning more than 1.4 million credits so far. There are 68 schools subscribed to the initiative and 130 learning destinations across the city.

To discover the full list of free, exciting activities on offer this summer visit www.sheffield.gov.uk/cu, email CU@sheffield.gov.uk or call 0114 2813761. .