Free children's activities

Wat's On - information for activity sessions

Open Access Policy

  • We aim to keep children safe at the same time as providing challenges through free open access multi-skilled activities, adventurous and risky play and creative sessions
  • We run free of charge open access sessions, which mean that we can only supervise children and young people while they are on site and participating in the activities
  • Participants cannot be confined to the grounds or prevented from coming and going as they please
  • We are not able to escort your child home; we do not provide childcare or a crèche facility and cannot be responsible for your child out of sessional hours

Taking part

  • If your child wants to take part in the activities programme, due to recent changes to data protection law (GDPR) it is now necessary for all children and young people to be registered by a parent/responsible adult providing emergency contact details, medical requirements and non-compulsory equalities data
  • In the event of an emergency every effort will be made to contact parents or carers using the information supplied
  • Signing in at each session opens at the advertised session start time, allowing approximately 15 minutes enrolling before activities commence
  • We recommend to maximise the opportunities to join in users attend from the outset of the session (notably at dance sessions)
  • Please be aware that some sessions (including free play) allow children to roam around the parks and open spaces and may not be at the registration point after the initial registration period
  • If your child is sick or ill please do not bring them to the session(s). It is unfair to them, other children attending and the staff
  • If a child has an accident or is taken ill, a member of staff may call an ambulance. Please note we are not able to take any children to Accident and Emergency or any destination away from the session location perimeter
  • Play is not always clean and dry, so please ensure your child is dressed in suitable clothing for the weather conditions or activities. Preferably clothes that will not cause upset to the child or young person if they get dirty or torn
  • Bring a drink and snacks as some of the sessions can be quite long
  • Some of the parks and open spaces in Watford do not have public toilets available
  • Sessions are drop in, no booking required

About the sessions

  • We provide activities throughout Easter and Summer school holidays. Whilst every effort will be made to ensure sessions are delivered as advertised, and if necessary suitable changes to the advertised sessions made in order to allow a programme of activities to still continue, In the event of extreme bad weather or unforeseen circumstances activities may be subject to change or cancelled, without notice
  • All delivery organisations/staff/volunteers are commissioned to deliver activities on behalf of Watford Borough Council
  • These organisations and their staff have been vetted thoroughly by Watford Borough Council and include checks on liability insurance, staff suitability to work with children and young people, ensuring a safeguarding policy is in place, delivery staff are DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) police checked, and have had experience with and qualifications for working within their industry such as sport, art or play
  • Children can get involved in the activities regardless of race, gender, religion, culture, physical or mental ability
  • Delivery staff have other sessions to facilitate and must promptly leave session locations at the advertised times. We do not accept responsibility for any children left at the sessions unattended
  • We strongly advise that you take every precaution to ensure your child's well being and know of their whereabouts.

Mobile devices
Watford Borough Council accepts that parents/carers give their children mobile phones to protect them from everyday risks involving personal security and safety. There are also increasing concern about children travelling alone on public transport or commuting long distances to sites. It is acknowledged that providing a child with a mobile phone gives parents reassurance that they can contact their child if they need to speak to them urgently. However, using mobile devices or technologies to bully and threaten other people is unacceptable. Cyber bullying will not be tolerated. In some cases it can constitute criminal behaviour.  If the use of technology humiliates, embarrasses or causes offence it is unacceptable regardless of whether ‘consent’ was given.  It is forbidden for users to “gang up” on another person and use their mobile devices to take videos and pictures of acts to denigrate and humiliate that person and then send the pictures to others or upload it to a website for public viewing. This also includes using mobile phones to photograph or film any users, visitor or member of staff. It is a criminal offence to use a mobile phone to menace, harass or offend another person and almost all calls, text messages and emails can be traced by the authorities. For data protection and safeguarding reasons, we request that parents/carers and other adult visitors do not use mobile devices or technologies during Watford Borough activity sessions to capture images and film or other aspects laid out in this document that could cause distress or security issues, for any person other than their own child or legal dependant. If images are taken outside of the guidance the user will be asked and expected to delete those images. 

We sometimes take photographs or video footage for publicity purposes. These images may appear in our printed publications, on our website, or both. We may also send them to the news media, which may use them in printed publications, and/or on their websites, and store them in their archives. They may also syndicate the photos to other media for possible use, either in printed publications, or on websites, or both. The images we take will be of activities that show the children/ staff in a positive light. Embarrassing or distressing images will not be used. The images will not be associated with distressing or sensitive issues or to do with a child’s welfare.  We will take all reasonable measures to ensure the images are used solely for the purposes for which they are intended. However we cannot guarantee that this will happen and take no responsibility for the way images are used by other websites or publishers, or for any consequence whatsoever arising from such publication. Parents/responsible adults can opt IN of allowing their child's image to be taken at each session using the signing in sheet or notifying a staff member.

Risky play
We encourage children and young people to take appropriate risks in play. Whether this is climbing a tree, participating in sports, woodland craft and fire play or using hand tools such as knives, hammers and nails, we believe that children and young people need the opportunity to risk assess a situation for themselves and make an informed decision whilst they are in a supervised environment.

All sessions have general supervision during the advertised times. Staff will move between areas of the venue or open space; however it is impossible for continuous supervision to be guaranteed. Staff are not able to keep children at sessions or on site if they wish to leave. All sessions are open access.

Liability Statement
Watford Borough Council and its commissioned activities operators shall not be liable for theft or loss of personal property on council grounds and provisions of service.  Visitors or users are responsible for ensuring that their belongings are secured. Any valuable items bought to sessions, are bought at the risk of the owner. Vandalism to property maybe reported to the authorities so the necessary actions can be taken.

Data is collected via registration forms to assist with effective planning and understanding our users of the service. We are committed to ensuring that every child is respected and has equal access to our service. In addition we believe that all children and young people should be free to participate in and enjoy the services, which we coordinate. To this end we and delivery organisations will not accept behaviour we consider to be racist, sexist or homophobic, whether directed at delivery staff or other children and young people, or bullying within our facilities, sessions or services.

Privacy notice

rating button