Parents and carers throughout Fylde may be eligible to benefit from a free holiday club programme for children and young people over the school summer break. The Government’s Holiday Activities and Food programme (HAF) will be available throughout the region this summer.
Backed by a nationwide investment of up to £220 million, the expanded programme ran initially during Easter in all local areas and is also scheduled for the Christmas holidays in 2021. It will enable children and young people to enjoy fun activities with friends and learn and develop new skills. The local programme has launched in Fylde and is targeted at those who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals.
The holiday clubs can involve helping young people learn new things, enriching activities from sport to music, dance, drama, art, cooking and gardening, as well as improving socialisation, helping young people to have fun with friends this summer.
The Government’s investment in the HAF programme will build on the foundations laid by Fylde Council, sporting organisations, charities and the voluntary sector during the successful programme over the Easter holidays. This initiative is running alongside the £200 million funding announced in February to provide summer schools to help pupils who have experienced the most disruption as a result of the pandemic.
Fylde Council Leader, Councillor Karen Buckley said: “Whether it’s a particular sport like football or crafts and games at a holiday club, or activities down at Fairhaven Lake, this scheme has so much to offer at sites all over Fylde. These free sessions are a wonderful opportunity for children to have fun and make new friends as well as have a healthy meal. I’m sure it will be a huge success.”
Children and Families Minister Vicky Ford said: “Our pioneering Holiday Activities and Food programme has been expanded nationwide this year for the first time, so it will benefit many more children than ever before. This year, especially, I want children to make the most of their school holidays, so I’m thrilled that there is so much support and enthusiasm for the programme. This significant expansion across the country and to every local authority will support even more children over the holidays with healthy meals, fun activities, and learning opportunities.”
Andrew Forsey, Chair of the HAF Alliance said: “The importance of an enriching holiday experience for all children cannot be underestimated. There is evidence that the best HAF programmes benefit children, parents and communities by enabling children to learn new skills, socialise with friends, and enjoy nutritious food in a safe environment, while supporting their return to school and alleviating parental stress. The HAF Alliance is sharing its expertise and best practice with local authorities to help them to develop and deliver excellent holiday programmes for their local communities.”
Parents and carers who think their children and young people might benefit from free holiday clubs should visit https://new.fylde.gov.uk/summerholidayclub for guidance on how to apply.
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