Eligible children and young people across Warrington are to benefit from a free holiday activity and food programme (HAF) over the school summer break.
The Department for Education (DfE) has granted local authorities funding to partially cover the cost of providing holiday activities with food over the Easter, summer and Christmas holiday periods for 2021.
In previous years Warrington Borough Council and partners have provided a variety of school holiday events, where in addition to engaging in a range of fun activities, children have also received a nutritious and healthy meal. This DFE funding will help the Council to continue supporting local children with this work.
There are lots of ongoing activities and food support on offer and in place from many external and internal providers in Warrington that cover all school holidays, enabling children and young people to enjoy fun activities with friends and learn and develop new skills. The local programme commences this month and is targeted at those who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals.
Local organisations are providing enriching activities and access to healthy food for children aged 5 – 16 years old with a multitude of programmes including but not limited to sports, music, arts and childcare provision, not only will children, young people and families be provided with good nutritious meals but they will also be learning new skills, socialising with their peers, enjoying dance, drama, art, cooking and gardening, as well as improving socialisation, helping young people to have fun with friends this summer.
Cllr Sarah Hall, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services said: “The importance of an enriching holiday experience for all children should not be underestimated. Evidence suggests that holiday clubs can have a positive impact on children and young people by enabling them to learn new skills, socialise with friends, and enjoy nutritious food in a safe environment.
“In order to thrive children need access to enriching activities and nutritious food all year round. Our Early Help team has been providing a range of holiday hunger and school holiday activity programmes for children and young people for a number of years, helping to ensure that children and young people who receive free school meals do not miss out on healthy food and activities whilst out of school. The HAF programme is allowing us to further build and enhance on this work.
“Local organisations will be providing children with a range of exciting activities, from sport and music to art, as well as offering much needed childcare. I encourage parents and carers who think their children and young people might benefit from free holiday clubs to visit warrington.gov.uk/haf for guidance on how to apply.”
All of our approved providers have a robust and current comprehensive COVID risk assessment in place.