Over the summer holidays the Bridport Youth and Community Centre has been offering a wide range of sporting and creative activities for young people and a free lunch. Many children rely on their free school dinners during term-time so it was felt important to offer food as well as fun.

One of the mothers was very relieved when she heard both the session and the food were free. She said: “I'm a single mum, with little ones at home, so it’s so good for my 10-year-old to have fun time like this during the holidays, and as I’m newly jobless it’s even better that It’s free, thank you”

Food was generously donated by the Friendly Food Club and expertly cooked by Carol and Calvin Alner and Terri Ockwell.

The children had the opportunity to help with the cooking every day. From chopping up vegetables to making chicken pies, they enjoyed learning news skills and then eating the results of their labour with all the children at a long table at lunch time.

The trustees were generously supported by the town council to pay for the Action Van and a variety of organisations to bring their equipment to the centre and to run events. From Zubaball football, to Rockburn climbing, from archery to bouncing on inflatables, learning circus skills, skateboarding and Oops Wow Art Club with Jo Burlington, the committee chose activities that would be popular with the children, and they were.

Emily, aged nine, said: “The rock climbing was great, I went quite high, we had to put on different shoes. The teachers are really good at Rockburn, and then we came back to the centre for lunch, and they were free.”

Trustees helped run the activities as well as recruiting some volunteers from the community to help both with administration as well as supervision. Louise Riley brought a wonderful range of creative activities for the children to do in small groups; threading beads to make necklaces, colouring in puppets for the puppet theatre, and plasticine to create a world of wonderfully inventive creatures.

Margie Barbour, one of the volunteers, said: “When they arrived, the children were always ready to let off steam, but were happy afterwards to make things, or sit and play draughts, or learn how to play pool - the range of things on offer seemed to meet their needs perfectly.”

The events were planned with the inclusion unit at the Sir John Colfox Academy and Nic Preston, the inclusion manager at the school, said: “It was a really positive experience, working and meeting transition students, and checking in with our young people during the summer.”

The centre hopes to hold events in the summer next year, building on the success of this year. The centre runs youth club evenings during the term, on Wednesdays and Fridays, and they are becoming increasingly popular with the younger children, over 60 coming to the Wednesday session from 5pm to 7pm.

The centre also has a range of spaces for hire, and classes in aerial silks, burlesque dancing, table tennis and walking football take place too. Email bridportycc@gmail.com or call 01308 422500 for more information.