Could your organisation, business or local group provide stimulating activities and a nutritious bite to eat for children and young people over the summer holidays? If so, Buckinghamshire Council wants to hear from you today!
Through the Government’s Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme, the Council is making available funding of £683,000 to work with local providers operating in Buckinghamshire to help deliver a range of free holiday activities for those children aged 5 to 16 eligible for benefits related free school meals.
There’s no restriction on the range of activities that could be provided – it’s anything that children and young people would find interesting to try, help them develop new skills or a future hobby, and are just fun to do. Potential ideas range from gaming, sports, bush craft activities, dance, art and design, photography and cooking, but new ideas and suggestions are warmly welcomed.
School holidays can be a pressure point for some families because of increased costs, like food and childcare together with potentially reduced incomes. This means children from disadvantaged families may not be able to access out-of-school activities and could experience ‘unhealthy holidays’ in terms of nutrition and physical health or higher levels of social isolation.
The Council is looking to work in partnership with community and voluntary organisations, creative and performing arts providers, sports coaches, schools, private companies and a range of others to help put on a fantastic range of options and healthy meals for those eligible over the coming summer holidays.
The HAF scheme works on a 4x4x4 model with clubs or sessions running for four hours per day, four days each week and across four weeks of the summer holiday. Providers are able to bid for grant funds for projects that would run for part of the overall four week period.
Buckinghamshire Council’s Service Director for Education, Simon James said this was a great opportunity for those young people but also a chance for local providers to really showcase what they can offer.
“New activities and experiences can have a profound effect on children and young people, helping them to create lasting memories, enjoy new activities and skills, build confidence, meet new people and have fun. And, not only do they get the chance to take part in quality holiday activities, but they can also enjoy a healthy meal too.
“We’re looking to team up with local providers to offer a great range of free activities and things to do for those eligible children to help them enjoy something different and productive over the summer break and we really look forward to receiving your plans and ideas.”
Buckinghamshire Council strongly recommends that bids include consideration of how your programme could be made COVID-safe in the event of the national situation or government guidance requiring it.
To find out more about the HAF programme, please visit: https://yourvoicebucks.citizenspace.com/childrens-services/haf2021/ or email the HAF project team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Completed bids need to be submitted by 9.00am on 7 June.