Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Free activities for children during the Christmas holidays

Friday, 2 December 2022

Our holiday activities and food (HAF) programme is returning over the Christmas holidays, providing fun, free activities for children eligible for benefit-related free school meals.

We're working with a number of providers including Kidz Zone, Freddie and Friends, Full House Theatre, Kids In Action and 4YPto offer a range of free activities for children and young people, including sports and game sessions, behind-the-scenes animal experiences, theatrical productions and craft and creative activities. We've also funded tickets for eligible children to see Cinderella at the Grove Theatre in Dunstable as part of the HAF programme.

All activities are inclusive so are suitable for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The HAF programme is funded by the Department for Education, and all children attending face-to-face activities are provided with healthy snacks and a hot lunch.

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

With many people worried about the rising cost of living this Christmas, I’m glad we’re able to offer the free HAF programme once again to children in our area. Our HAF programme ensures children and young people have lovely fun holiday activities and helps ease some of the pressure on families over the festive period by ensuring children are given a hot, healthy meal and snacks.

The HAF programme is just one of the ways we are supporting households this winter. We are funding supermarket vouchers for families during the Christmas holidays through the Household Support Fund, and have launched a crisis fund which will support families already known to our children’s centres with household bills and payments, and other items. Our children’s centres already work with over 4,700 families, and their support will continue over the winter period.

We've also set up a network of warm spaces across our libraries and leisure centres and we're providing funding for advice organisations and foodbanks. Visit our dedicated cost of living information hub which is full of information and resources that can help anyone concerned about the cost of living.