THE next phase of Cardiff Council’s, Welsh Government funded, Winter of Wellbeing is coming soon, in time for February half-term, and running until the end of March.

Following on from last year’s Summer of Smiles festival, which gave thousands of Cardiff’s children and young people a range of experiences and activities, the Winter of Wellbeing programme is offering free opportunities and activities for 0 to 25-year-olds across the city.

Winter of Wellbeing started in Cardiff in December, with thousands of families gaining free access to all of the live Christmas performances and events throughout the city. Co-ordinated by the Council’s Child Friendly Cardiff team, the next phase of the programme continues until 31stMarch.

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The forthcoming phase of Winter of Wellbeing has three main elements:

comprehensive arts and cultural Programme;

brand new, Child Friendly Cardiff Pop-Up Shop coming to St David’s shopping centre; and

a significant package of grant-funding for existing community providers

More details of the programme are being regularly added to the Child Friendly Cardiff website:https://www.childfriendlycardiff.co.uk/

Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry said:

“It’s important to keep supporting our children and young people after two years of disruption to their lives. The Summer of Smiles really helped to re-engage children across the city and enabled them to enjoy things once more. The Winter of Wellbeing is building on that, with a focus on enhancing young people’s experiences by offering them new and different opportunities that will help shape their interests as well as their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.”

The programme is aimed at enhancing the wellbeing of children, young people and their families by supporting future generations’ social, emotional, mental and physical wellbeing. There will be a selection of community based interactive, creative and play-based initiatives for all ages. These will provide opportunities to further develop children’s and young people’s social skills, to express themselves through play and physical activity.

Individual schools across the city will also receive a share of Welsh Government grant funding to support them to provide additional opportunities for learners to play, and to engage in social, cultural and physical activities and experiences outside of formal learning.

Winter of Wellbeing is part of Cardiff’s Child Friendly Recovery and closely aligns with the city’s ambition to becoming an internationally recognised Child Friendly City, as recommended by the UK Committee for UNICEF.

The three elements of the Winter of Wellbeing next phase are:

The Arts and Cultural programme offers a host of activities across the different age ranges. Some of the sessions include family fun drop-in days, Creative Cardiff Youth Pilot Projects, toddle into town sessions, comic creation course, Sound Progression music programme, half term activities in leisure centres and more. The programme is being delivered across Cardiff by 19 citywide partners and the Arts Active Trust.

The Child Friendly Cardiff Pop Up Shop is part of a partnership with St David’s Centre, and the 5-week residency will see a full, free programme of fun, creative activities for 0 to 25-years-olds, being delivered by 20 partners. Located on the first floor of the St David’s 2 Shopping Centre in the former Gap store unit, the Pop Up will be a free space for children, young people and their families to relax, socialise, have fun, learn something new, find the right support, and to have their say. A mixture of seating areas, play spaces, workshops and worktops, all to enhance wellbeing.

In all, 24 community organisations across the city have been awarded wellbeing grants to deliver activities throughout the winter months. The organisations will share details of the extra provision through their usual channels.

By Gwynoro Jones

Former MP for Carmarthenshire, Gwynoro Jones joined the team covering politics in Wales. He has a wealth of experience in politics and has been a regular commentator on radio, TV and in newspapers in Wales. Email: gwynorojones@walesnewsonline.com

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