Over the April school holidays, Awarua Whānau Services facilitated two different Bluff holiday programmes catering for 5-11 year olds and rangatahi.
The holiday programme for 5-11 year olds was designed to provide school children with an all day event in Bluff during the school holidays to keep them entertained and help whānau with options for their tamariki. This programme was co-facilitated with Active Southland/ Healthy families. There were a range of activities the tamariki could do including; a NerfZone, an ArtSpace that incorporated natural elements, outdoor-play & games, chalked street art, Tū kohatu, boardgames, a custom puzzle of our local marae, a bouncy castle and great kai all day! The tamariki made new friends and learned new skills while having fun.
One of the key objectives of this programme was to foster creativity and teach the tamariki new things. The day was full of laughter and fun, and the kids LOVED getting the adults in the nerf zone. It was a successful day with parents being thankful that it was held in Bluff and the tamariki enjoyed the range of activites.
With the supportive feedback and phenomenal turn out we will look to hold another event in the next school holidays. To keep this going, whānau need to show there is a need/demand so we can provide a fully accessible programme without needing financial support from the families. We really enjoyed doing this mahi with Healthy Families, it was a great example of collaboration.
Rangatahi Mātātoa was a holiday programme for rangatahi which was designed to give younger people the opportunity to experience outdoor activities based around mahinga kai and recreation in some of our local outdoor reserves. By providing a safe and supportive environment, rangatahi were able to socialise and engage in fun and exciting activities.
The day was facilitated by experienced kaimahi who understand the unique needs and interests of rangatahi. The day included a range of activities such as floundering, digging for toheroa, e-bike riding, cricket and swimming. The rangatahi had loads of fun and the e-bikes were definitely a hit! AWS will look to do something similar every school holidays which is outdoor focused and kaupapa māori.
Both holiday programmes provided a valuable service for the Bluff community. They provided tamariki and rangatahi with a safe and supportive environment where they can have fun, learn new skills and make new friends. They also provided parents and caregivers peace of mind knowing that their tamariki were in good hands during the school holidays. Ka pai tō mahi Tam, Michael, Jamie, Amy, Kerryn, John and Sam!