Free activities over summer as iCard scheme returns

The iCard is being brought back again this summer, allowing children and young people the opportunity to do activities

The iCard is being brought back again this summer, allowing children and young people the opportunity to do activities and use facilities, for free. Inset, David Ellesmere (top right), Tara Spence (bottom) - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown/Charlotte Bond

More than 300 activities will be free for children and young people in Ipswich this summer through an ongoing council initiative. 

The return of Ipswich Borough Council's iCard scheme will be welcomed by families in the wake of the cost of living crisis say a Suffolk charity boss as it returns for another year. 

Children aged between five and sixteen who live in Ipswich, or attend an Ipswich school, will get access to a variety of activities in the town, all for free.

The card will allow people to access facilities such as Crown Pools, squash courts and council gyms.

iCard poster

iCard poster - Credit: Ipswich Fit

Over the six weeks there will also be over 300 activities running in different locations such as football, tennis, roller skating, water polo and junior jet skis.

David Ellesmere, Ipswich Borough Council leader, said: “We know that the long summer holidays can be a stressful time for parents as they try to keep their children entertained while juggling work commitments.

"It can also be expensive which will be an even bigger concern this year as the cost of living crisis bites.

“We want to make safe activities available to the maximum number of Ipswich children which is why we offer such a wide range, located all over the town and include sessions for children with disabilities.

Leader of Ipswich Borough Council David Ellesmere

Leader of Ipswich Borough Council, David Ellesmere - Credit: Charlotte Bond

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"It’s also why they are free of charge – we don’t want cost to be a barrier to keeping children safe over summer.”

CEO of HomeStart in Suffolk, Tara Spence said: "The summer holidays, although something many children and young people look forward to, can be a difficult time for parents and carers who can struggle to keep children and young people engaged and active.

"The free iCard scheme will be welcomed by families.

"Having run for a few years, it's a great opportunity for children and young people in the Borough to try out new activities without commitment, get active and spend time with friends old and new." 

Tara Spence, Chief executive of Home- Start in Suffolk. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Tara Spence, Chief executive of Home- Start in Suffolk. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

The iCard will be active from July 25 till August 31, with disability sports camps being available as well as providing free lunches at the camps, to children on free school meals.

For more information on the iCard, and to check eligibility, click here.