Children and young people in Renfrewshire are set to benefit from more than £400,000 of funding to help create opportunities to socialise, play and reconnect this summer.
The local authority will be given the £436,000 boost from the Scottish Government to help provide summer activities for youngsters who have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Renfrewshire Council, and all other areas across the country, will receive a share of the £20million to specifically target those aged up to 25 from low income households who may otherwise struggle to access such experiences during the holidays.
Neighbouring East Renfrewshire Council will receive £184,000.
An additional £5m has been allocated to 18 organisations – many of which operate in Renfrewshire – such as sportsscotland, Young Scot and Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).
News of the cash boost has been welcomed by Renfrewshire Council, which is working on plans to put the funding to good use.
Councillor Marie McGurk, convener for communities, housing and planning, said: “Children, young people and families will be able to take part in a wide range of activities over the summer months that are designed to help them reconnect with their friends and communities as well as offering support and opportunities to recover health and positive well-being.
“We are currently developing the programme now that the funding has been announced and we will update communities shortly.”
The cash will focus on helping improve the health and well-being of youngsters to help combat the impact of the pandemic.
The council and the Scottish Government will be launching a marketing campaign later this month to promote the opportunities available to children and young people in their local area.
Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said the funding is in response to concerns about the mental health of children who have missed out on vital opportunities in the past year.
She said: “Scotland’s children and young people have experienced significant disruption to all aspects of their lives as a result of Covid-19, including their wellbeing, education and social connections.
“They have told us that their mental health was a primary concern as a result of the pandemic and that they need a range of activities to help them reconnect with their peers and friends.
“Through our partners – local authorities as well as our national organisations – the summer activity will focus on mental health and well-being of our children and young people whose lives have been impacted by covid.”