£1.39m funding for winter holiday activities in Gloucestershire
By Bethany Winter | 18th November 2021
Following the success of the summer holiday activities and food (HAF) programme, families can now sign up for the Gloucestershire County Council's winter offer.
Registration for the winter holiday activities and food (HAF) programme, funded with £1.39m from the Department for Education for children eligible for benefits-related free school meals, is now open.
Using grant funding, the council is also once again able to offer local holiday activities which are available to all children and young people across the county.
The winter programme will run for 4 days between 20 and 23 December 2021. Families who registered in the summer will be automatically enrolled and do not need to sign up again.
Gloucestershire's summer holiday activity and food programme was a great success, reaching 57 per cent of children and young people eligible for free schools meals.
Funding of £1.3m from the COVID-19 Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF) meant the council was able to extend a wide range of enriching activities to all children and young people. The council worked with district councils and partners to deliver 16 days of activity to:
• 9,069 children and young people eligible for free school meals
• 546 children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
• 18,500 activity sessions were enjoyed, with over 150 providers
• 18,581 meals delivered and 3,622 food boxes distributed
Feedback from families has been used to improve the winter programme and build upon the success of the summer.
Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council said: "It's great to see that the holiday activities and food programme has been so successful and popular with families.
"Since the summer we have invested £2.7m to make sure that we can continue offering support to families, and make holiday activities available to all children and young people in Gloucestershire."
Families who wish to register for the Winter programme can sign up at: www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/HAF
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