The City of Edinburgh Council has set up a summer of fun for children and young people along with a number of partner organisations.

Get into Summer is part of a scheme funded by The Scottish Government to offer opportunities for young people to get together and play.

The council already run a regular summer programme of activities but the key focus of this year will be activities for families from low income families.

The idea is to help children and young people to get healthy, creative and reconnect after a disrupted school year.

There are opportunities for playing sport along with outdoor art and cultural activities. Some of the partner organisations putting on events and providing support include: 6VT Edinburgh City Youth Café, Disability Services, Intercultural Youth Scotland, Edinburgh Young Carers, Lochend Football Academy, National Galleries of Scotland, Play2Learn Sports Coaching and Shakti Women’s Aid.

Councillor Ian Perry, Convener for Education, Children and Families at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “We know how much our children and young people have had their year disrupted by the pandemic and our ‘Get into Summer’ programme aims to bring as many of them together as possible to play and socialise over the holidays.

“There really is something for everyone with activities ranging from sports coaching to museum trips and music workshops with many additional activities on top of what we usually offer during the summer. We want to do all we can to support our children, young people, their families and carers so they can enjoy the summer. This programme is a great way to do that. Thanks must go to the different Council teams and partner organisations across the city who have pulled together to put on such a great programme of activities.”

Councillor Alison Dickie, Vice Convener for Education, Children and Families at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “We have listened to our young people who have told us about the impact of lockdown on their mental health and wellbeing as a result of the pandemic so these activities are a first step to help them re-connect with their friends and interests over the summer.

“They and their families are showing great resilience but no one should underestimate the huge impact the pandemic is having with many of the activities and support usually open to them not yet available. This must change. Many families on low income struggle during the summer holidays so this targeted offer is a positive step forward and will boost opportunities for those who have faced the greatest challenges in the past 15 months. This programme has children’s rights and needs at its heart.”

Dot Horne, Director of 6VT Edinburgh City Youth Café, said: “Get into Summer is a much-needed support for children and young people. During this pandemic so many young people have been adversely affected, isolated and missed out on essential life skills they would have learnt as they progressed through “normal” experiences.

“We’ve seen an increasing number of young people coming forward who are lacking things like self-confidence, coping skills, feeling socially anxious , lonely or unhappy. At 6VT we are offering teenagers a dynamic and active programme of activities where they will be supported to  improve their wellbeing, experience new activities and learn how to build respectful relationships with others. We are striving for a lot of fun and laughter with the overall impact of improving happiness.

“We encourage parents to support their children and young people to engage into Get into Summer activities.”

Find out more about the full Get into Summer programme.