Spring Holiday Club Fun at Big Noise

 

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Over the spring school holidays, Big Noise centres across Scotland ran another successful fortnight of Big Noise holiday clubs packed with fun activities and trips for children and young people alongside their regular musical practice. Big Noise holiday clubs which run during spring, summer, and october school holidays provide children and young people with a safe and social space to spend their time, whilst also enabling parents to pursue work or study activities. 

 

Our holiday clubs deliver an average of 3.5 hours of activities every day for families, as well as a complimentary healthy breakfast and lunch. In addition to providing music tuition throughout the holidays, the holiday club program includes sports and other fun options alongside its musical components.

 

This year, some young participants had the chance to participate in a spring residential trip, aimed at boosting confidence and independence. All holiday clubs and residential visits within the Big Noise programme are completely free for all participants.

 

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Paul Sullivan, Sistema Scotland’s Director of Children, Young People and Communities, said:

“We know that the school holidays are a difficult time for families who are finding it hard to make ends meet. High-quality and free activities during the Easter break mean that parents and carers are able to work, train, and study without the worry of paying for someone to look after their children or taking time off work.

 

It’s also a fantastic opportunity for children and young people who take part in our programmes to have fun, make friends, and try new things, further boosting their confidence and happiness. We are all looking forward to seeing what they achieve next.”


Colleen Fisher, whose 10-year-old son Dean has been participating in Big Noise Raploch’s after-school and holiday programmes, said:

“Big Noise has really been a lifeline for me, my family, and getting back to work. I was a volunteer with the toddlers' group, which helped me secure a job. It's amazing what they do with the kids. I feel really lucky to have the after-school and holiday activities. Many other areas don’t have that, and people have to pay for things like music lessons.

 

“If I didn’t have this, the holidays would be challenging for us. Dean really struggles without being in a team. It gives him some respite, structure, and routine to have people that he recognises, plus he absolutely loves music. He conducts and everything. I love that he can have this free rein just to be who he can be. It’s fantastic that the kids get to mix in different groups and develop strong relationships. Music is kind of like your life skills – you can incorporate it anywhere in your learning.”

 

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Children and young people from Big Noise Douglas attended a residential trip to Lathallan School in Aberdeenshire, engaging in outdoor activities alongside music lessons. A total of 14 youngsters from Big Noise Douglas in Dundee, all aged between 10 and 14, enjoyed a three-day Easter camp at Lathallan School, near Johnshaven. They stayed in the school’s 19th-century castle and took part in a range of activities across the wooded estate, overlooking the North Sea.

 

Participants built dens, played outdoor games, cooked over a campfire, tried laser target shooting, and participated in quizzes. These activities, alongside their instrumental rehearsals, boosted confidence and independence, providing a well-rounded experience that combined fun, teamwork, and learning. The residential culminated in a special concert on Thursday, April 4, for parents, carers, and family members who travelled to Lathallan for the concert, where the children showcased what they had learned over their stay.

 

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Andy Thorn, Head of Centre at Big Noise Douglas, said:

“We have run several residential experiences for children and young people, but this was our first visit to Lathallan. High-quality and free activities during school holidays mean that parents and carers are able to work, train, and study without the worry of paying for someone to look after their children or taking time off work.

 

“It was a great opportunity for them to broaden their perspectives, build confidence, and independence in an outdoor setting. They’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience and we were delighted to welcome parents and carers to the special concert.”

 

Oscar Gillon, 11, who participated in the residential, said:

“I’ve loved spending time with everybody and seeing all my friends. It's been a lot of fun. I loved the den building and playing outside. We played capture the flag and got to do a bit of cooking on the campfire. I've enjoyed everything we've been doing - and it's nice trying new things that you have never tried before, like the laser target shooting.

 

My mum is usually working during the holidays, so it's good to have somewhere to go while she's working. I'm looking forward to the rest of Easter club because I've really enjoyed this trip.”

 

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For the young people at Big Noise Torry, Easter holiday club gave them the chance to take their music on tour, as they performed at various venues including churches and care homes in Braemar, Aberdeenshire. A total of 14 youngsters from Big Noise Torry in Aberdeen, all aged between 12 and 16, performed at the historic St Margaret’s arts space in Braemar to mark the end of the charity’s Easter holiday program.

 

As part of their trip to Braemar, young people from Big Noise Torry got their day of music started with a ‘taster’ performance at a nearby sheltered housing complex. The program at St Margaret’s featured a varied lineup of music including movements from the Capriol Suite for string orchestra by Peter Warlock, two sets of Scottish traditional music, some blues improvisation, and a Handel string Trio.

The group was then treated to a fun afternoon incorporating some enriching outdoor woodland activities and culminating with a tour of Braemar Castle. St Margaret’s Trust, which cares for the former Victorian Episcopal church, raised funds for the group’s travel and food on the trip, as well as arranging the additional enriching activities for the young people.

 

Lorna Carruthers , Head of Centre at Big Noise Torry, said: 

“We are incredibly proud of all the young people we work with at Big Noise, and it was a real joy to be able to share their talent, passion, and enthusiasm with a wider audience by taking their music on the road. We are hugely grateful to St Margaret’s for supporting us with the costs of delivering this concert, but also for giving the young musicians such a special experience. “Opportunities like these really help build our young people’s confidence and sense of self-worth.

 

We really enjoyed our Easter activity programme. High-quality and free activities during school holidays mean that parents and carers are able to work, train, and study without the worry of paying for someone to look after their children or taking time off work. The young people thrived on the experience.”

 

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