With schools out for half-term, I want to wish all our pupils, families and schools a relaxing and well-deserved break after what has hopefully felt like a far more normal start to the academic year. It has been great to see our children and young people returning to some of the extra-curricular activities that they have missed out on during the pandemic, and enjoying school life to the full after the disruption of last year.
Together with our partners we have a great programme of free half-term activities for children and young people in Croydon – you can find out more about this on our website. We have also ensured that thousands of families with children who attend Croydon Council-maintained schools and academies, and are eligible for free school meals, will be provided with meals or vouchers during the half-term. We are only too aware how important free school meals are for many of our families and that’s why we are making sure this vital support doesn’t end when term does.
As you will have seen Covid-19 is very much still with us, with case numbers increasing considerably across the country. Remaining vigilant against Covid-19 is so important to protecting the freedoms we’ve once again begun to enjoy. Please ensure you get your Covid-19 jab and are following the government’s advice to continue to wear masks in crowded indoor spaces wherever possible.
During this half-term break parents and carers in Croydon will be able to book a Covid-19 vaccination for 12-15-year-olds using the national booking system for the first time. Starting on Saturday they will be able to book an appointment for local vaccinations centres at Centrale shopping centre and Valley Park Surgery or further afield. The vaccine is the best way of protecting people from becoming seriously ill with the virus and reducing outbreaks in schools. You can find out further details here.
Finally, if you are looking for an opportunity to get out and about and do something different this week, why not try one of our new heritage walks through the heart of Croydon’s old town? You can find out more about our borough’s rich history and discover some of the fascinating landmarks that many of us pass every day but perhaps haven’t noticed. The heritage walks are a great way to explore Croydon and we want to hear what you think of them – find out more here. Alternatively, why not head to one of our beautiful parks and open spaces to see the autumn colours – Croydon is looking stunning as it always does at this time of year.
Whatever you choose to do, have a great weekend,
Councillor Hamida Ali, leader of the council