The HAF programme aims to support the wellbeing of children who receive benefits-related free school meals by providing a variety of engaging activities and food during school holidays.
It works collaboratively with schools, young people’s centers, district and borough councils, and external providers, to ensure there are varied and fun activities for children and young people to enjoy, as well as a substantial meal on the activity days.
In 2021, almost 15,000 children took part in the HAF programme, with at-home activity packs instead of face-to-face provision when coronavirus restrictions applied.
The most recent delivery of the HAF programme was huge success over last month’s Easter holiday, where children and young people were engaged in a wide range of activities, including bowling, ice skating, climbing, crafts, cooking, sports, dance, and adventure days ..
To enable the continued success of recent school holiday activities and food delivery, the council approved the establishment of a dedicated HAF team at the children and young people’s committee meeting on April 25, enabling the team to grow to five posts which will help facilitate more activities and even better planning for future school holidays.
Tom Bingley, director of TB SPORT which is one of the HAF providers, said: “It was fantastic that once again we were able to offer HAF to the children and families that we work with in schools and the community over the Easter holiday.
“We linked with many other providers, specialists and venues who offered their services to us as we strived to meet a key programme objective of providing children and young people with as much variety as possible and not just focus on sports.
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“I am incredibly proud to employ a team who embrace HAF and have given children, young people and families some unforgettable experiences. I want to thank everyone who made our Nottinghamshire 2022 Easter HAF a success and we look forward to providing a summer programme.”
Looking ahead to the summer holidays, HAF will include similar activities to the spring school holiday but with even more for families to choose from.
Coun Tracey Taylor (Con), chairman of the children and young people’s committee said: “I am very proud of the work delivered so far for children and their families over recent school holidays, and I now look forward to the establishment of this larger HAF team, which will be able to reach more families, engage with more providers, and overall have a really positive impact on Nottinghamshire families.
“The continuation of the Holiday Activities and Food programme has been confirmed for another three years, so I am sure the establishment of this team will mean success for these future holidays.”
The Holiday Activities and Food programme is available for children aged 5-16 who receive benefits-related free school meals.
Families can find eligibility criteria and register for free school meals on Nottinghamshire County Council’s website here.
Find out more about the Holiday Activities and Food programme for Nottinghamshire here.