Unforgettable holiday experiences for children and young people

Summer holidays, colorful backpacks, excursion time: Happy children’s voices can be heard in St. Ursula school yard, parents waving goodbye and it’s still well before 8 o’clock – actually time to sleep in. This morning (Wednesday 27 July 2022) around 15 children between the ages of 6 and 10 are waiting here, full of excitement and expectation, on the bus that will take them to Universum in Bremen. Because their parents work, don’t have money or time for their own holidays – and of course because it’s fun – the primary school children go to holiday care at Fritidshjemmet St. Mary. The trip to Bremen’s hands-on museum is one of their holiday highlights – as it is for a total of 160 children from the entire Lüneburg district.

Such experiences are made possible by the district’s youth care team, which fills the children’s summer time together with the youth welfare organizations with high-quality holiday offers – including trips to the Karl May Festival, Serengeti Park and Hannover Zoo. More than 530 children and young people have already signed up for the excursions, and just as many 6 to 17-year-olds could join in the second half of the holiday. “We take care of the organisation, but the sponsors, including many youth centres, lunch carers and actors such as the youth fire brigade, organize the outing themselves,” explain Christian Gebhardt and Anke Stolze from the youth welfare and sports department. “We decide the destinations, book the bus journeys and get the tickets.” The district provides a total of around 100,000 euros for this.

In youth homes, leisure homes and children’s and youth groups, many families also find regular points of contact and familiar contacts in everyday life. “The excursions offer new experiences, broaden the horizon and are simply fun – it strengthens one’s own self-confidence and friendships,” says social worker Christian Gebhardt. “It’s great that so many institutions and clubs are participating again this year, and that the trips are well received.” There is still room for improvement: “But we are sure that next year we will be able to increase the number of participants from the time before Corona is reached.”

In addition to day trips, the district of Lüneburg offers other financing options for children and young people:

Coverage of holiday travel
The district pays up to 400 euros per child or young person for holiday trips offered by independent youth organisations. This cost assumption applies to structurally weaker families, such as Hartz IV recipients, housing benefit recipients, etc. The journey must take at least six days. Business trips from tour operators are not supported, it must be an independent youth welfare service. The applications are submitted by the parents. In recent years, around 50 children and young people have been able to go on trips each year. If you are interested and eligible, simply contact the district of Lüneburg, special service for youth welfare and sports, Anke Stolze or Christian Gebhardt, telephone 04131 26-1792 or -1318.

Travel and storage costs covered
Clubs and sponsors who offer holiday trips for children and young people from the Lüneburg district also receive financial support. Such a trip must last at least three days, with the arrival and departure days each counting as a full day. The club or sponsors receive 2.50 euros per child per day. Non-profit tour operators can submit applications all year round to the Lüneburg district, special service for youth welfare and sports, Anke Stolze or Christian Gebhardt, telephone 04131 26-1792 or -1318 or by e-mail to anke.stolze@landkreis-lueneburg.de or christian.gebhardt@landkreis-lueneburg.de.

Background:

Playing football, meeting friends, making music, experiencing exciting things on outings – during the corona pandemic joint activities often simply fell away, important relationships between children and families suffered. With its social fund and the possible
The district of Lüneburg counteracts this with extended holiday offers. Registrations for the second half of the holiday are underway, and campaigns are also planned for the autumn holiday. Since February, youth welfare organizations and other actors from the education landscape have also been able to apply for money from the social fund. The guideline is published by the youth welfare and sports department.

It’s better together: “This is exactly what many children, young people and families have to experience and learn again,” says Ines Benne, head of department. “Friendships suffered or did not even arise because children and young people had to massively reduce their contacts due to Corona. In some cases, the feeling of belonging to a group and dealing with peers has to be relearned.” Actors are now obliged to create new offers: “Our goal is also for different providers to come together and find inclusive ideas that everyone can participate in.”

More information: www.landkreis-lueneburg.de/jugendpflege.

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