HAF programme coming to North Somerset

10:55am - 19 March 2021
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A programme providing healthy food and enriching activities to is to be expanded to the benefit of disadvantaged children in North Somerset.

Last November it was announced that the holiday activities and food programme (HAF) would be expanded across the whole of England in 2021.

Cllr Catherine Gibbons, North Somerset Council's executive member for children's services, said: "We are expecting an allocation of £505,110 to deliver holiday activity programmes over the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays.

"These programmes are aimed at children and young people who are in receipt of free school meals and they will be able to take part in a range of food, sports and cultural activities and receive advice on nutrition and cooking skills." 

The programmes will be delivered by a range of organisations from the public, private, community and voluntary sectors. The programme will also include a virtual offer for young people to take part in with a menu of activities that can be done at home and online, along with the face-to-face provision.

"This programme will come as a welcome boost throughout the Easter holidays to some of those facing the greatest need at this time. School holidays can be pressure points for some families because of increased costs (such as food and childcare) and reduced incomes," added Cllr Gibbons.   "The aim of this fund is to make the positive benefits of holiday clubs available to all those on benefits-related free school meals for at least four hours a day, four days a week, for six school holiday weeks of the year. For now, we are only delivering a concept to cover a minimum of four days during the 2021 Easter school holiday, but after Easter we will be asking providers to put in an expression of interest to deliver these clubs over the summer and Christmas holidays."  

Cllr Gibbons said that the council wants to engage with a wide network of community-based organisations, including existing holiday care providers, schools, childminders, sports coaching, creative and performing arts providers and many others. Healthy meals must also be provided, and each activity session must last for a minimum of four hours a day, for at least four days a week for:

  • four weeks in the summer
  • a week at Christmas.

To find out more or to be added to the mailing list, please email HAF@n-somerset.gov.uk