Children and young people receiving benefits-related free school meals can enjoy a wide-range of exciting activities and a healthy meal plus snacks.
The government has asked local authorities in England to provide a Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme for children during the Christmas break, funded by the Department for Education.
Lincolnshire County Council is now working with schools, sports providers, leisure centres, early years settings and kids’ clubs to organise fun and exciting holiday clubs across the county.
Each club is unique and offers lots of different enriching activities, depending upon the venue. Examples of the activities on offer include: DJ skills, gaming, archery, fencing, boxercise, golf, music, drama, arts and crafts and much more.
There are lots of places available, but they are limited and offered on a first-come first-served basis.
Cllr Mrs Patricia Bradwell OBE, executive member for children’s services, said: “The HAF programme is designed to provide eligible children with a range of engaging activities, as well as free, healthy food. In addition, being with their friends will aid their emotional wellbeing and social development.
“We have a programme of activities on offer this Christmas, with some venues even offering special festive treats such as pantomimes and daytrips.
“Hundreds of children have already taken part in our Easter and summer’s programmes, and the feedback from families has been fantastic. So if your family is eligible for the programme, don’t let your child miss out.”
You can find further details on the HAF programme, including a list of participating venues, at https://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/school-pupil-support/holiday-activities-food-programme .
If a booking has been made, but your child is unable to attend, it is important that you contact the club at least 48 hours beforehand to let them know so that the place can be offered to another young person.
Recently, the government announced it would continue funding the HAF programme until March 2025. The council is now working to find providers who can help to expand the number of places available, particularly in parts of the county where provision is limited. If you think your organisation could help, please email [email protected]