In 2021, the holiday activities and food (HAF) programme enabled us to support 744 children and their families throughout the summer and Christmas school holidays, across 6 local authorities.
Sport and food were delivered in the London Boroughs of Brent, Bromley, Croydon, Haringey and Islington and in the Redhill West and Preston Wards of Surrey for school aged children from reception to year 11 who receive benefits-related free school meals.
Summer 2021 saw 468 participants receive a hot or cold lunch alongside coaching, enrichment and competition whilst the Christmas period, impacted by the Omicron variant, saw 276 school aged children receive food parcels and online delivery.
The government funded programme has help enhance our provision and we are honoured to be able to help more families during the school holidays. We look forward to delivery this Easter, Summer and Christmas 2022.
Research has shown that the school holidays can be pressure points for some families. For some children this can lead to a holiday experience gap, with children from low-income households being:
- less likely to access organised out-of-school activities
- more likely to experience ‘unhealthy holidays’ in terms of nutrition and physical health
- more likely to experience social isolation
The HAF programme is a response to this issue, with evidence showing that free holiday clubs can have a positive impact on children and young people, and that they work best when they:
- provide consistent and easily accessible enrichment activities
- cover more than just breakfast or lunch
- involve children (and parents) in food preparation
- use local partnerships and connections, particularly with the voluntary and community organisation sector