Why we're bringing back free summer activities for children in Ipswich

 Children attending an ITFC Summer Camp as part of the Summer Holiday iCard

Children attending an Ipswich Town summer camp as part of the summer holiday iCard programme in 2019 - Credit: Ipswich Borough Council

One of last year’s many casualties of Covid was Ipswich Borough Council’s free young persons’ Summer iCard.

We first introduced the free iCard in 2018 because we recognised that finding something to keep the kids occupied safely over the summer holidays can be a real problem for parents, especially if they are on low incomes.

So, I’m really pleased that this year we’re able to bring back free summer activities for Ipswich’s young people.

Between July 21 and August 29, all five to 16-year-olds living or attending school in Ipswich will be eligible for a free Summer Holiday iCard, giving them full access to our summer activity programme.

Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere has urged people to stick to the coronavirus rules. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere welcomed the return of the summer iCards - Credit: Charlotte Bond

There will be more than 350 activities in over 35 locations across the town including football, rounders, cricket, dance, tennis, roller skating and wildlife and guided walks.

All told, we will be providing over 600 hours’ worth of free activities for young people over the summer.

Most of the activities will take place outdoors. Booking in advance is essential.

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We’re not fully back to normal with Covid yet, so swimming – usually one of our most popular activities – is not currently included in the programme.

However, subject to detailed guidance from the government on the easing of restrictions, we’re hopeful that we can add it later in summer.

If your child has previously had a Summer Holiday iCard, we’ll be in touch to explain how you can book onto this year’s activities.

If they haven’t, you can check their eligibility and sign up online at www.ipswichfit.co.uk

If you’re not lucky enough to live in Ipswich, you can purchase a Young Person’s iCard for £14.50 per month which gives free access to our summer programme or you can pay £3 per session.

We believe that Labour-run Ipswich Borough Council’s summer programme may be unique.

We’re not aware of any other council in the country that provides such a comprehensive range of activities, free of charge, to all its children over summer.

When we introduced the free summer iCard, it was opposed by Conservative councillors.

We know how much it is valued by parents so, as long as Labour is running Ipswich Borough Council, free summer activities for all our young people will remain.

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