Thanks to a bumper grant of more than £50,000 youngsters in Bridgetown will be able to enjoy a host of free activities and hot meals during the school holidays throughout this year.

The grant was awarded to Be Buckfastleigh by the government run Holiday Activities and Food Programme.

Be Buckfastleigh is a Community Interest Company (CIC) set up to tackle health, social and economic inequalities in Buckfastleigh and other local small rural towns.

Six years ago, the group launched its ‘Hello Summer’ programme to provide an extensive range of varied and exciting events, workshops and activities for children and their families in Buckfastleigh.

This extended into Bridgetown last year, with lockdown activity packs and face-to-face activities at Christmas time.

Now, thanks to the grant from the Department of Education, Hello Summer will also be brought to those in need of support in Bridgetown during the school holidays in 2022.

Claire Allford of the Bridgetown Alive! charity said: “I am so chuffed Be Buckfastleigh has been successful in receiving funding to expand the HAF Hello Summer project to the families of Bridgetown.

“In these tough times it is going to be great to be able to provide some free activities and food for families to enjoy.”

The activities will be offered as a drop-in on a first come first served basis.

Places will be prioritised for young people who are in receipt of free school meals, their friends if that helps encourage attendance, children with special educational needs and disabilities, and children of low income families.

Becci Eriksson, Be Buckfastleigh’s programme manager, said: “We are so pleased to be able to be run Hello Summer events in Bridgetown and Buckfastleigh throughout 2022.

“This programme has always had a really great response and has changed the experience of the school holidays for many local families, especially those who may struggle to get away, visit expensive local attractions or afford the expanded weekly food shop.”

The programme will kick off with four days of creativity, play and food during the Easter break from Monday April 11 to Thursday April 14, held at St John’s Primary in Bridgetown, and at Victoria Park (or the town hall if raining) in Buckfastleigh from 10.30am to 2.30pm each day.

Participate Arts will lead an ‘enchanted Easter’ art and craft day featuring bunny ears, Easter chickens, spring flowers and eastern European-style egg decorating workshops.

Other events and workshops will include seasonal animal puppets with the Nature’s Wylde team; growing sunflowers and making breath powered space rockets with Libby; sporty fun games with Lennart de Vos; bouncy inflatables; brick ideas with Lego Extravaganza; and an Easter treasure hunt with a prize at the end.

Local food suppliers will be on hand to provide hot lunches for children at 12.15pm and snacks will be available throughout the day.

Each child will also receive an Easter activity pack to take home.

St John’s headteacher, William Jaworski, said: “We are delighted to be working with Be Buckfastleigh who has been able to secure funding to support families in Bridgetown.

“The holiday provision that will be available to all families will be incredibly beneficial.”

Sessions will be run as drop-ins and on a first come first served basis, with 75 children’s places available at each venue.

Children aged under 11-years should be accompanied by an adult or responsible much older sibling.

Be Buckfastleigh offers a membership scheme to hear about events in advance and make sign in quicker and easier on the day.

For more information and to join as a Hello Summer/Be Buckfastleigh member visit