Parents and carers throughout Derbyshire may be eligible to benefit from a free holiday clubs programme for children and young people over the school summer break- and 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 is due to launch in Derby from 3rd August and is targeted at those who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals.
Derby County Community Trust’s holiday coaching sessions help young people to learn new footballing skills, as well as improving socialisation and helping them to have fun with friends this summer. All sessions will also include healthy lunchtime meals and will be running in Derby city along with locations in the north of the county.
The Government’s investment in the HAF programme will build on the foundations laid by Derby City Council and Derbyshire County 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.
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.”
For those directly interested in Derby County Community Trust’s courses, please email [email protected] where the team will be able to guide you through eligibility criteria and how to book.