Funding ensures children benefit from healthy food and holiday clubs this summer

The funding allows children to access clubs for four hours per day, four days a week for four weeks in the summer holidays.

The funding allows children to access clubs for four hours per day, four days a week for four weeks in the summer holidays and one week in the Christmas holidays. - Credit: Image by Esi Grünhagen from Pixabay

Children and young people who are entitled to benefits-related free school meals in North Somerset can benefit from no-cost activities and food projects during the school holidays. 

North Somerset Council has been awarded £500,000 from the Department for Education through the Holiday, Activities and Food (HAF) Programme to fund sessions during the summer and Christmas holidays. 

In North Somerset, there are more than 4,300 school-aged children who receive benefits-related free school meals. 

The HAF programme aims to ensure children and young people are more active, eat more healthily, learn more about nutrition and can access fun and enjoyable activities by enabling them to attend holiday clubs for free. 

The funding allows children to access clubs for four hours per day, four days a week for four weeks in the summer holidays and one week in the Christmas holidays. 


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Cllr Catherine Gibbons, the council's executive member for children's services, said: “School holidays can be particular pressure points for some families because of increased costs such as food, childcare and reduced incomes. 

“For many, it means their children are less likely to be able to take part in activities and more likely to experience isolation. 

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“This scheme offers valuable support to these families facing financial challenges.” 

The council has supported low-income families throughout the pandemic, working with local communities, voluntary groups and businesses to help families access support during lockdown restrictions. 

The authority, alongside schools, have been distributing vouchers to families during school holidays, funded through the temporary Winter Covid Grant and the subsequent temporary Local Covid Support Grant. 

Cllr Gibbons added: “Many families are struggling with the economic impact of coronavirus and will continue to do so while the pandemic is still with us.” 

If families would like to attend holiday activities and have support, contact North Somerset Council and tell them who the provider is. 

The council will then see if it can support the provider to meet the HAF criteria and enable your child to attend. 

For more information, email HAF@n-somerset.gov.uk 

Any family which needs support during the coronavirus pandemic can visit www.n-somerset.gov.uk/together for more information. 

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