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Live Borders’ Summer Holiday Programme Benefits Young People


A recent survey has concluded that almost half of the children and young people who attended Live Borders’ summer holiday programme activities (July – August 2023) reported an increase in self-confidence and resilience as a result of their participation.

The aim of the programme – delivered in partnership with Scottish Borders Council and funded by Scottish Borders Council’s Cost of Living fund, ‘paid for’ places, and the Children & Young People’s Planning Partnership – was to provide an enhanced programme of holiday activity across the Scottish Borders, providing greater opportunities and breaking down barriers to participation for all children and young people.

Over 3500 children and young people took part in Live Borders’ summer programme activities which included a variety of multi-sport, multi-activity holiday camps, free cinema access for targeted individuals and a range of museum and gallery activities and library workshops. A Borders Additional Needs Group (BANG) camp, evaluated separately, also took place.

According to the post-programme evaluation there was high occupancy across all activities (92% occupancy for activity camps) and financial barriers were substantially reduced for families who might not otherwise have been able to attend (52% of places were free of charge for targeted children and young people).

97% of attendees reported having fun at holiday programme activities, while over a quarter said that their participation had reduced their feelings of loneliness. 59% of children and young people said they had made new friends as a result of their involvement in the summer programme, and over 60% reported that they were more likely to be active in the future as a result of taking part.

“It’s fair to conclude that the summer holiday programme has been a great success,” said Graeme Murdoch, Head of Active Communities. “Over 3500 visits were made by children and young people to a variety of activities throughout July and August and that wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our key funding partners, as well as our wonderful staff who expertly organised and delivered every workshop, activity session and sports camp.

“Evidence tells us that children from low-income families in particular are often unable to participate in enriching activities over the summer holidays. During that period financial pressures and social isolation can be exacerbated and play opportunities are reduced. The report findings, however, show us that over half of those who got involved in the programme made new friends and over a quarter reported that they felt less lonely. Attendees’ confidence and resilience also improved as a result of their participation. Thank you to everyone who played their part. Programmes like this can make a real difference to people’s lives.”

Live Borders will continue to build on this success and help young people become healthier, happier and stronger.