Sheffield Children’s Services work to support many children who are often some of the most vulnerable in society. It has been particularly important that these services continue to provide stability and support to Sheffield’s young people and families during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet member for Children’s Services, said:

“During lock down we are all having to facing challenges for many different reasons.  Parents and Carers trying to juggle work, looking after the family, and being a teacher, thinking up ideas to keep the kids occupied can be especially difficult.

“This is why it is necessary to recognise all the wonderful support available to children and families through the hard work and dedication of our workers and that of our fantastic partners at this time.”

One of the groups working with families in Sheffield is The Sheffield Children’s University – a national charity which works with schools to encourage participation in extra-curricular activities particularly with children from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Sheffield Children’s University has rallied during the crisis to provide some excellent online resources to children and families learning at home. They have a dedicated Facebook page here with all their extra provision for parents to access.

More information on how to join and for all their online support during Covid-19 can be found at their website, here.

Sheffield Care Leavers Union, which supports young people who have recently left the care system, have also stepped up to support young people during lockdown with a host of online learning resources to boost their learning potential. They have a lot of online materials to give extra help to young people. You can find out more here.

Ignite Imaginations, a Sheffield-based, community arts organisation, have partnered with Sheffield Libraries to combine their creativity and provide a new (social) distance learning offering to parents and children. Find out more here about their exciting creative ways to engage in fun activities and banish boredom during half-term.

Ignite and Sheffield Libraries are also running five, free, online artist-led activities over the Spring Bank holidays.  Each workshop, suitable for children aged 7-12 years old, contains a video and instruction sheet created by a local artist. You can find out the details here.

Jackie adds: “By working together, Ignite and Sheffield Libraries have come up with fantastic new and creative ways of helping children and families to learn at home during this half term holiday.

“If you’d like a hot air balloon ride, or a pirate adventure or fancy trying a travel tombola game, why not get involved and give it a go – it’s not just fun for the kids but the whole family too! Just click here to start your adventure!”

Families can also sign up to receive the pre-recorded video direct to their inbox or access it via the organisation’s website. The activities will use materials that people can either find in their homes or are fairly easy to buy under the current circumstances.  Ignite Imaginations will be sharing material lists on their social media with the things people will need to get hold of in advance of the workshops going live.

There will be a new session released each weekday during the half term holiday via email and on Ignite’s website.  Each activity has a holiday theme such as drifting away in a hot air balloon, going on safari, pirate adventures, mountain climbing and a travel tombola game.

Families who are interested in taking part just need to go Ignite’s website here or find Ignite on Facebook and sign up to their mailing list here.  When signing up people need to make sure they select the option to receive emails about the Sheffield Libraries half term workshops, to ensure they get all the content.

Ignite CEO Rosie Carnall, said: “We were planning on partnering with Sheffield Libraries to run creative workshops in libraries this Spring Bank holiday, so we’re delighted to be able to offer this free alternative holiday provision for families. We hope that taking part in the daily activities will add some structure to the week and help families create a holiday at home!”