Denise Jeffery: Free summer holiday activities to be enjoyed
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Denise Jeffery writes: We all need a bit of downtime, to recharge and take a break from some of the pressures of day-to-day life.
At this time though, many households are feeling under huge pressure due to the ongoing financial crisis.
I promise to continue to lobby the government to take action to deal with this crisis; we all deserve far better than this, and I want to assure everyone we as your council are here to support you.
The upcoming school holidays can be a very difficult time for some families across our district as well as being a challenging time for other vulnerable people too.
We have been allocated £3.1m of funding through the Household Support Fund and will use some of this grant to address hunger during the summer holidays. More than 9,000 low-income families who receive council tax support will get a £60 supermarket voucher in July.
We are also using the household support grant to support other vulnerable people. In June we issued £50 supermarket vouchers to residents who receive council tax support and are either a pensioner or receive a disability-related benefit. One voucher was issued to each qualifying household and a second £50 voucher will be issued to pensioners and disabled residents in September.
We’ve also created a summer fun guide, which is packed full of free activities taking place across our district as well as where to turn to for more financial support. Pick up a copy today at your local library or check it out on the council website.
We really do have so much to offer, with popular activities such as the Gnome Trail at Newmillerdam for younger children, along with play areas at local parks and the many attractions that can be found at Thornes Park, Pontefract Park, Anglers and Pugneys Country Parks, plus much more, such as walking routes.
Pontefract Castle and Sandal Castle are also among the many other great places to explore this summer, alongside our district’s museums and galleries.
And we’re delighted to see the return of the popular Summer Reading Challenge in our libraries, which are also running events for all the family to enjoy, such as craft workshops, gaming, and story time sessions. And finally there’s our free summer festival during August – A Grand Day Out – http://www.experiencewakefield.co.uk/event/a-grand-day-out/ with inflatables, live music and workshops such as monster mask making and traditional sports day activities.
There is so much to explore and enjoy – all for free – this summer, right here in our district.
And if you do need some extra support, we can offer help and support to those in debt, or struggling to pay your rent or council tax, as well as support to claim universal credit or other benefits you may be entitled to through our More Money in Your Pocket scheme http://www.wakefield.gov.uk/more-money-in-my-pocket.
Support is also available at our Help at the Hub service, which puts you in touch with a range of organisations such as food banks, access to financial support and Citizens Advice (CAB). It can also help if you are worried about money, jobs, housing or health.