During the summer of 2017, Children North East coordinated a project looking at the impact of summer holiday clubs across the north east of England.  


In 2016, the North East Child Poverty Trust (NECPT) commissioned a study, carried out by Debs Harrison, that found 'holiday hunger' was a key issue for struggling families.  NECPT and Children North East applied to Big Lottery for a grant to run a large-scale research project to examine the impact of activities and healthy food during the summer holidays of 2017.  The research partner was The Healthy Living Lab at Northumbria University, led by Professor Greta Defeyter.

Summer 2017

4 lead partners across the region were selected to take on the delivery role, each working with 4 or 5 community organisations in their area.  The 4 areas where holiday clubs took place were North Tyneside, Newcastle, Darlington and Durham.  

As part of the programme, and to help with the university's research, 226 children completed food diaries comparing food and activities on days when they attended holiday club and days when they did not.  220 children were interviewed in focus groups about health, nutrition and wellbeing.   133 parents also completed questionnaires and took part in focus groups (64 parents) to explore the impact of holiday clubs on their isolation, financial strain and wellbeing.  77 staff (paid and voluntary) were interviewed about their development and wellbeing.  In addition, clubs completed programme planners, food record sheets, consent forms and registers to collect information and data required by The Big Lottery.

This short video explains the project and gives a flavour of the holiday clubs:

Research Findings

A celebration day, including dissemination of the key findings, took place in May 2018 at the Discovery Museum in Newcastle.  This short video of the day also summarises the research findings:

Useful Information

If you are thinking of running a holiday project please check our hints and tips, and learning from the project by following these links: