Free activities for eligible children and young people
By Sarah Wood
Cotswold District Council is working with Gloucestershire County Council and local community organisation, World Jungle, to deliver another Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme for eligible children across the Cotswolds this spring.
Using funding from the Department for Education, children in the Cotswold district will have access to free activities during the Easter holidays.
Food vouchers are also being provided for children who are eligible for free school meals.
Cllr Jenny Forde, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: "As always, I'm so pleased we're able to provide these activities for the children in our district. With the pressures of the cost-of-living crisis rising, it's more important than ever that we can provide this much needed support to families.
"Last year, we were able to support 1,100 children across our HAF programmes, and that just goes to show how important it is that we are able to carry on running them!"
The Easter HAF programme will run from April 3 to April 14 and will include a range of activities such as rally driving, 'Go Wild' days, archery, nature events and traditional craft sessions.
The programme, which has strict guidelines on eligibility, is only accessible for children from reception up to year 11, who receive benefits-related free school meals.
Using additional funding, the council is also able to run the Holiday Activity Programme (HAP). This programme of free holiday activities is offered to all children between the ages of 5 and 16 across the district, regardless of free school meal eligibility.
Ben Ward, from World Jungle, said: "We have got another fantastic programme of activities this spring and would encourage all parents to sign up to the children's activity booking system, so they can keep up to date with what's on this holiday.
"While some of these are only open to those in receipt of benefits-related free school meals, there are other activities which are open to all thanks to additional funding."
To sign up to the Children's Activity booking system, go to https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/haf/
Gloucestershire County Council is also providing food vouchers to eligible families who have signed up to their Holiday Free School Meals (FSM) scheme. Those families will receive a total of £15 per child for one week of the spring holiday, whilst the Holiday Activity and Food programme (HAF) provides for the second week of the holiday.
If you are eligible and have already registered, you do not need to register again. If you are eligible and have not yet registered for holiday free school meals vouchers please register here.
You must register by 12pm on March 21. Vouchers will be sent out to families by email on March 27.
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