A Bit More Marvellous

Marvellous Holiday Club, in Barrow, has secured funding of £7,000 to employ two qualified teachers during the school holidays thanks to Cumbria Housing Partners Fund.
Mayor of Barrow Cllr Bill McEwan, visiting the Marvellous Holiday Club last year to talk about his job as Mayor.

The Marvellous Holiday Club, in Schneider Road, provides childcare (up to age 13) and activities for families in the school holidays. The project is based in the Ormsgill ward of Barrow which has a very high percentage of social housing and one of the highest levels of deprivation in the UK.

The club allows parents  to continue working when schools are off

Pete Garbacz, Project Volunteer said: “The Cumbria Housing Partners Fund has allowed us to offer the same levels of service over the Christmas, Easter and half- term holidays as we do in the Summer. It’s allowed us to continue to have two trained teachers employed to run the activities for kids from across the town, with a large number of whom come from the Ormsgill Estate”

“The holiday club is on every week through all school holidays. Most of the children attending are from low income families, where affordable childcare is desperately needed to allow them to continue working to keep a roof over their heads. The club allows parents who don’t have any other childcare to continue working when schools are off. “

“The feedback we have had has been tremendous and this year we are looking to grow and become a hub for youth in the community, working with other agencies to provide affordable activities and foster community spirit”

Janice Sharp, Assistant Director of Housing, Barrow Borough Council said:” Finding affordable childcare during school holidays can be difficult for many families. But for some low income families in this area it can make a difference between being able to work or being unemployed.

Cumbria Housing Partners is adding value to our local communities

“As a borough council we are committed to improving the health and well-being of our communities. Our vision for the Borough is a healthy population, with high aspirations, living in good quality housing with decent jobs in a diverse economy. By actively supporting people to aspire to more, we can  inspire longer term positive change for individuals and those communities. Through this funding Cumbria Housing Partners is adding value to our local communities and creating better futures.”

Over the past year Cumbria Housing Partners Fund, administered by Cumbria Community Foundation, has given grants to individuals, community and voluntary organisations for training and projects aimed at improving people’s employability or education. The £100,000 fund has also supported projects which provide advice and guidance, support and engage people in their local community, and improve community facilities

John Clasper, Chair of Cumbria Housing Partners added: “Not only has this funding secured employment for two teachers, it also means there is affordable childcare available to families who would be unable to work during the school holidays without this provision. We are pleased that procurement savings made by Barrow Council have been reinvested to improve the lives and futures of people living in their communities.”

Annalee Holliday, Grants & Donor Services Officer for Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “Community foundations work with grassroots groups who are running vital services on a shoestring and supporting some of the most marginalised people in our society. 1 in 3 children in Barrow are from low income families, often excluded from social activities, and rarely, if ever, go on holiday. This project will not only support their learning and development and help those who are maybe falling behind a little in their mainstream education, but also provide fun and engaging youth activities on their doorstep.”