Sheffield Holiday Activities and Food programme

Holiday Activities and Food programme 2023

The Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme funded by the Department for Education has been extended for 3 years up to 2024. This holiday provision is for school-aged children from reception to year 11 (inclusive) who receive benefits-related free school meals.

School holiday fun!

If your child is in reception to year 11 and gets benefits-related free school meals, you may be able to access free activities through the Sheffield Healthy Holidays programme.

The programme is a great opportunity for children and young people to get out and about and get active.

We are working with local providers to make sure there are lots of things available to do in the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays such as sport, creative activities, trips out and lots more!

We also want to help you and your children develop your understanding of nutrition and food budgeting. Activity providers will also be able to help signpost you to additional information and support, on things such as health, employment, and education.

What is the aim of the programme?

The programme aims to make free places available to children eligible for benefits-related free school meals for the equivalent of at least 4 hours a day, 4 days a week, for 6 weeks. The HAF programme needs to cover one week at Easter, 4 weeks in the Summer and a week’s worth of provision in the Christmas holidays. 

School holidays can be particular pressure points for some families because of increased costs (such as food and childcare) and reduced incomes. For some children that can lead to a holiday experience gap, with children from disadvantaged families: 

  • 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 

Free holiday clubs are a response to this issue and evidence suggests that they 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 

For more information, please contact

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