Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Over 900 families benefit from our summer holiday programme

Thursday, 16 September 2021

This summer, 961 families signed up to our Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme, providing free activities for children eligible for benefit related free school meals.

1,737 children were registered for activities through HAF and took part in things like holiday and youth clubs, sports activities, and dance, drama and music workshops. Children taking part in the programme were provided with a healthy meal and snacks throughout the day.

We worked with 21 providers to provide activities in 38 venues, in 16 locations across Central Bedfordshire.

Of 114 parents surveyed, 99% agreed that the scheme was worthwhile and 95% agreed that it had helped their children be more active and gain new skills.

One parent said:

My children have made new friends at the clubs, they have been involved in various different activities, they’ve been given healthy snacks and some clubs even provided a healthy lunch too which they wouldn’t have had if they’d been at home.

Another said:

I was very worried for kids what are they going to do for the summer holidays, and this was one of the best summer holidays they had.

Our Holiday Activities and Food programme is for children eligible for benefit related free school meals, which is a requirement of the Department for Education, which funds the programme. There were also specific activities targeted at children with special education needs and disabilities (SEND).

Councillor Sue Clark, our Executive Member for Families, Education and Children, said:

The aim of the HAF programme is to ease the pressure on families over the summer holidays, by providing free activities and food for children who are eligible for benefit related free school meals. This summer we also used some funding to provide activities for our looked after children and young carers, so they could make the most of the summer activities on offer too.

I’m pleased that the programme has been such a success and that children had so much fun along with the opportunity to try new activities and gain new skills"