Summer 2023

Another successful summer camp was delivered on site this year as part of Lambeth’s Summer of Food and Fun, over a very lively 5-week period through the school summer holidays. The programme featured a range of free activities, food and workshops. We registered over 1,000 attendances this year across 50 sessions, with more than 150 young people from the local community taking part.

Each year, BPT delivers a full summer holiday schedule, giving any young person in our community free access to both multisport and sport-specific sessions, as well as free meals each day. The programme was primarily funded through the government’s Holiday Activities and Food Programme, designed to support children on free school meals.

BPT were able to go the extra mile thanks to local partners who enabled us to provide breakfast daily for the first time this holiday. The Felix Project made significant additional contributions towards our food provision, alongside our regular deliveries, stocking our shelves with cereal and porridge oats as well as delivering crates of fresh fruit and veg twice per week, which were given to our young participants and were distributed across the local community. Vauxhall One, our local Business Improvement District, provided a generous donation for a second summer, having also supported our Easter programme and Regal Floor Crowdfunder and we are hugely grateful for their continued support. Finally, local business Simply Bread kindly provided us with free produce throughout the summer, which went towards both our breakfasts and lunches.

Each morning, participants had the option of eating breakfast on site, before multisport sessions were delivered by Quadrant Performance Academy (QPA), where the young people did a wide range of fun activities and games. After lunch, the afternoon session would alternate between football, basketball and boxing sessions. Football was also delivered by QPA, with their amazing coaches, Matthew and Nelson. The basketball was run by our Basketball Development Officer Marvin, alongside supporting coaches, Jayson and Jermaine, courtesy of our valued basketball partner LBA. Finally, Kevin and Sonny, our brilliant 3 Pillars coaches, delivered the boxing and fitness sessions each week.

QPA coach Matthew talked about the importance of these summer camps for the young people who take part: “I think it’s important for the kids to interact with other kids through sports and by having a healthy lunch provided, we offer the opportunity for all participants to be integrated regardless of individual circumstances. The joy on the children’s faces from the moment they get to the camp to the time they leave makes me happy to deliver every day.”

Our delivery was bolstered by a small group of helpful and committed volunteers, all of whom are participants who attend adult sessions at BPT on a regular basis. Each day we had at least 2 of our volunteers assisting and they were all integral to the smooth running of the programme.

The aim of the project is to ensure all the kids stay happy and healthy and that includes ensuring they are properly fed as well. BPT staff Bev and Leanne did an amazing job arranging and preparing all the food every morning and lunchtime, providing a good variety of healthy and nutritious meals daily for both breakfast and lunch.

The Lambeth Young Advisors were also a key component to our summer programme this year. Each week, the group of young leaders delivered workshops to our summer programme participants, talking about subjects such as health and nutrition, black history, stop and search awareness, and mental health. Some of their members also allocated their time to support session delivery, which was a huge help to our coaches. Their involvement was kindly organised by Fight 4 Change.

We had strong attendance numbers throughout the 5 weeks, and for the final day of the summer camp, we ran some extra special sessions. In the morning, BPT staff took on the kids in a game of rounders, followed by a special lunch, put on by the amazing chef Earl to celebrate the end of the programme. The afternoon featured another staff versus kids basketball game, before the summer was wrapped up with an awards ceremony, where prizes were given to young people who excelled in different ways throughout the camp.

Many parents gave positive feedback and were grateful that their children had the opportunity to be involved. One father said of his son’s experience: “It was great for him; he was out of the house and was busy all day and he now thinks he’s going to be a basketballer and a footballer. The facilities you guys have, the great coaches, the food supplies, this program is really worth so much and the fact you guys don’t charge for it is amazing.”

Another parent, who had two daughters attending, said: “They both thoroughly enjoyed it, so much so that they recommended it to their friends and cousins, who enjoyed it as well. It has been really good to have somewhere for them to keep active during the holidays and somewhere to boost their confidence and make friends. Everything you could want for your child’s extracurricular development. We’re from Clapham and they grab the bus by themselves and come all this way because there’s nothing like this in our area. For this to be free provision as well, is incredible.”

BPT’s Community Development Officer, Alex Burke, reflected on an overwhelmingly positive summer: “This was undoubtedly our best holiday programme yet! Every session was well attended and all the young people remained really engaged during the full 5 weeks, with average session attendance double what it was last summer. These projects are so important to ensure kids from the local area have something fun and fulfilling to do over the school holidays. A massive thank you to all the coaches and volunteers, who consistently delivered a series of exciting sessions throughout the whole summer.”

We’re tremendously grateful to our partners and supporters who helped us deliver our most successful holiday programme to date! We run our free programmes every holiday period throughout the year (excluding Christmas). Our next one will be October half term and we encourage everyone to get involved!