THE Government’s ‘Holiday Activities and Food’ programme is providing £1.8m to fund free holiday clubs for disadvantaged families during the summer and Christmas school holidays of 2021.
Public Health Northamptonshire and North and West Northamptonshire Councils have commissioned local charity Northamptonshire Sport to deliver the programme.
The HAF programme is available to children across every local authority in England and aims to relieve the pressure some families experience during school holidays.
In particular, increased costs to cover childcare and food during holidays can cause stress. Research also shows at holiday times, children from disadvantaged families are more likely to experience social isolation and ‘unhealthy holidays’ in relation to nutrition and exercise.
HAF responds to the issues faced by some families by providing a programme of consistent and easily accessible enriching activities, providing nourishing food and involving children and parents in food preparation.
The holiday clubs are free of charge for young people who qualify for free school meals.
Joint director of Public Health for North and West Northamptonshire Councils Lucy Wightman said: “We’re delighted to be working with Northamptonshire Sport to help to keep children and young people in Northamptonshire active and well-nourished during school holidays.
“In what’s been an incredibly challenging year, it’s more important than ever to support the health and well-being of those children and young people who have been particularly affected by the pandemic.
Director of Northamptonshire Sport Chris Holmes said: “We’ve all heard about how the pandemic has impacted children and young people.
“Keeping active during the various lockdowns has been especially hard for our younger people.
“As has, accessing healthy food and maintaining a balanced diet.
“That’s why we are particularly pleased to be supporting Public Health Northamptonshire and North and West Northamptonshire Councils with the delivery of the holiday activities and food programme across Northamptonshire, ensuring some of our most impacted and vulnerable communities are helped to stay active and eat healthily.”
Northamptonshire Sport is working with local organisations to develop an extensive offer across the county.
For more information on the HAF scheme in Northamptonshire email the HAF scheme in Northamptonshire please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Northamptonshire Sport website at https://www.northamptonshiresport.org/haf1