Dear parents and carers,

I hope you are all enjoying the school holidays and are prepared for any festivities you may have planned.

This holiday season it has been the absolute pleasure to once again be busy and active after the previous two Christmas’ under the restrictions associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.

This Christmas we’ve enjoyed being once again able to plan lots of larger events including having parents get involved to! We loved the family craft afternoon with Manor Church & Community Project, we enjoyed the Christmas Activity Day with the fab Christmas lunch, we had great feedback from the Chess Day and the children performed amazingly at the S2 Collaboration Showcase events here and at the Arbourthorne. We still also have a community panto (with 900 tickets booked in a week) and a new board games session to before the holidays are over.

In between all this I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the Lord Mayor with the participants of our new Discovering Play course, designed to support parents/carers but also upskill local people and volunteers who want to support us to create more children’s activities locally. We’ve also hosted two fantastic medical students, who after observing and interviewing some of the children wrote a lovely report about the benefits children gain from attending MASKK.

This month we know has been difficult for many, and so once again I have supported the creation of pop-up toy shops which local schools could refer families too to come and choose free presents to reduce the risk of children waking up Christmas day with nothing under their tree.

As we look towards 2023 we, like many other charities, are reviewing our work and our finances. 2023 will be difficult for households too and we are looking at ways in which we might be able to help more local children and families. I will be in touch again in the new year with more details but in the meantime please take a note of the important information below:

  • After School Club returns WEDNESDAY 4th January – Book now via Magicbooking, by the Friday of the week before.
    We will not be able to collect children who are not booked in. Any problems with the system please text us on 07784838169 and someone will get back to you on 3rd
  • Saturday Club (Groups 2 and Weekly) returns Saturday 7th January (14th January for Group 1)
  • Creative Thursdays return Thursday 12th January – Places must be booked via our website and please only book if you intend to attend. We buy resources and plan based on bookings. The theme for Thursdays in January to March will be ‘Mindfulness’
  • The next half term Playcare bookings are open (Monday 13th February until Friday 17th)
  • February Healthy Holiday Activities will not be known until the Council decide on funding allocations but we are aiming to put on a Holiday Activity Day on Monday 13th
  • Parents have fed back there has been some issues with Universal Credit. Please note to claim Universal Credit support with fees you must pay your bill to MASKK (in full) during your monthly claim period, then upload the invoice (attached to your booking confirmation) and upload proof of payment for example the Zettle receipt or a screen shot of your bank statement showing the amount come out.

For more information about support with paying your fees visit: https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/