Opening School Facilities goes county-wide to help thousands of Oxfordshire children to get active
Posted: Wed, 12 Jul 2023 10:43
"Schools are a vital community resource and have so much to offer, and it's inspiring to see to see them being used to help families become more active." Councillor Phil Chapman, Portfolio Holder for Healthy Communities
On Friday 30th June, schools who have benefited from Opening School Facilities funding across Cherwell District, including Hanwell Fields Community School in Banbury, were visited to showcase the difference the funding is making to children's lives. Victoria Prentis MP and High Sheriff of Oxfordshire Sally Scott joined for the celebration event.
The funding, which comes from the Department for Education, supports schools to open their facilities outside of the normal school day to the local community. In Cherwell, over 1,000 pupils and residents have engaged with the programme within just two months! Excitingly, the funding is now being distributed across Oxfordshire to benefit even more residents across the whole county. The programme, which is a total 3-year investment of £500,000, has been run in partnership with Cherwell District Council, North Oxfordshire School Sport Partnership, British Cycling, and the Active Partnerships national team.
There have been some amazing projects set up so far, including bike libraries which can be used by both the schools and the local communities, SEN outdoor equipment, girls' football, trampolining, parkour, table tennis with coaching, and so much more!
Hanwell Fields Community School, who have opened up their own bike library to its' pupils, have some exciting and ambitious plans moving forward! The funding has enabled the school to purchase 20 bikes, train pupils in workshop maintenance, and run Bikeability sessions and after school clubs. Future plans include opening up the bike library to local families, and creating a mountain bike track within the school.
At a time when it is increasingly challenging for families to be active together with the cost-of-living crisis, it's amazing to see schools share their resources and not only encourage their pupils and local residents to become active, but to also do so in creative and enjoyable ways!
To find out more about how we are working together to get more children active across the county, please follow here: Oxfordshire on the Move - Children and Young People.