Interviews

Children’s Activity Week

Children’s Activities Week is a celebration of the hundreds of thousands of activities, clubs and classes benefiting millions of parents and children every day across the UK. We caught up with Suzanne Borrell, communications director at What’s on 4 and one of the founders of the not-for-profit, industry-led Children’s Activities Association, to see how things were progressing from the organiser’s perspective

Why should people get involved?

The week will not only engage 100s of thousands of children in more than 8,000 activities across the country, it gives providers in the early-years sector and any activity partners they have the opportunity to promote their activity.

Being a part of the week can set you apart and differentiate you from the competition. It demonstrates altruism and shows that you care about the bigger picture. This will appear to many of the parents and carers who are ethically aware and make their choices accordingly. Participation showcases your care for children and helps to determine in people’s minds what type of person or organisation you are.

How’s the response been to date?

We’re very happy with where we are. With a launch event, there’s quite a lot of awareness raising, but the response has been amazing. The more people that know about it, the more people have wanted to be involved. We are very encouraged by the response so far, but there is no upper limit, so there’s loads more room for more children to be involved!

What are the main events?

Sid Sloane from CBeebies has his own song called Copy Me, which is about jumping up and down and getting active, so we’re going to get the highest number of children in the UK up and active at one time that has ever been recorded. We are asking all od the activity providers who are taking part to log on as soon as the activity has happened and register how many children were taking part.

It will be a real spectacle. As part of that record attempt, which will effectively launch the week at 10.15am on April 30, in a large Manchester school, children everywhere will be dressed up in fancy dress around the theme #WatchMeFly – so as superheroes, bumble bees, angels, dragons, pilots, whatever takes their fancy.

After the launch, Sid will be doing a tour from Manchester down to London, visiting children’s activity classes on the way and spending time with them and promoting the campaign. He’ll be travelling on the back of a bike limo dressed in a superhero cape and goggles and selected providers will see him jump off to appear at classes throughout the week. We’ll be making as much of a spectacle as possible, so we can get the local and national press interested and obviously the public in the area.

On the Friday, the tour will end at Under One Roof in Greenwich, where we will have a celebration, a media showcase and experts in the field, and most importantly lots and lots of kids doing the activities we put on all day. That will signify the end of Chidlren’s Activity Week and we will also be able to reveal then the number of children who have taken part in the world record attempt, to round the week off with a bang!

I see you have a ‘Shooting Stars provider’ and a Storybook – what are they?

The Shooting Stars provider is for the particular children’s activity that goes above and beyond to support the week. We want to encourage every single club and class of all sizes to have a chance to win, so it’s not just about who can raise the most funds. It’s in terms of funding per head, as well as the use of social media and awareness-building in their community. The prize for the winner is to receive a visit from Peter Andre, who is an ambassador for our chosen charity partner Caudwell Children.

The Storybook is a CAA initiative being put together by publishing house Quack & Field. It is a story based around three little characters, Ella, Boo and Joel, who have been named by Caudwell Children. They go on a journey to engage in activities and get up to all sorts of adventures along the way. It will be a souvenir of the week.

And you have a great band of ambassadors and partners too

We do have a great group of ambassadors. They all understand how important it is to engage children in physical activity and get them away from their screens. I think everyone thinks that’s a good thing, so we have people involved like Peter and Sid, Annabel Karmel, Kimberly Wyatt and Katy Ashworh, as well as inspirational Olympians and Paralympians involved who really want to engage the next generation in sport. They all see the real benefit of getting children, active, healthy and happy.

We’re really pleased that we have significant partners involved who all buy into the messages. They are keen to raise awareness about the campaign as a whole across their network of customers and contacts, which is wonderful.

Read more here - childrensactivitiesweek.org

Past Issues

Children’s Activity Week

Children’s Activities Week is a celebration of the hundreds of thousands of activities, clubs and classes benefiting millions of parents and children...
read more

Be part of the butterfly effect

Early Years Childcarer publisher Morton Michel has chosen national charity Caudwell Children as its 2018 charity partner. Here, we give you some more...
read more

Claire addresses support shortage

Claire Parker has been running a successful Out of School setting for over a decade, during which time she and fellow practitioners watched the level of...
read more

At one with the magic of nature

Mike Jones, co-founder of Earth Wrights, tells us why he got involved in the design and build of natural play spaces and what they offer children
read more

Barrett lights up Broadway

If you have ever been to Childcare Expo in Coventry, London or Manchester over the past seven years, chances are you have met one of the team from show...
read more

Are your children lucky?

The Minding The Gap conference held in Brighton recently appropriately had a keynote presentation that tackled the issue of closing the gap between...
read more

Focus on the recovery, not the grief

Catherine Best, a certified grief recovery specialist in the North West, says the emphasis should always be on the recovery, not the grief
read more

Developing the chatter

Chris Williams, founder of “chatta” and language development expert, explores ideas and activities parents and childminders can use to support...
read more

Self-regulation: Life readiness, not school readiness

In the second of her four articles on neuroscience for Early Years Childcarer, Mine Conkbayir looks at self-regulating emotions
read more

OOSA fights its members’ corner

Following on from our interview with Tanya Petherick of Class of Their Own, in this issue’s interview we spoke to Catherine Wrench and Clare Freeman of...
read more

Your responses give Foundation food for thought

Anna Taylor, chief executive of The Food Foundation, responds to the findings of the survey carried out jointly with Morton Michel and Early Years Childcarer...
read more

Talking Out of School

Out of School clubs (OOS) play an integral role in the childcare and educational system. Not only do they give working parents options in assisting them with...
read more

Let’s hear it for the men

Men in childcare. Now there’s a subject that never fails to disappoint. Despite men making up half the population of the UK (the last time we looked...
read more

Margo stresses importance of managers

Since Julia Margo took up her role as CEO of the Family & Childcare Trust six months ago, the childcare sector has been under the spotlight. A former...
read more