Children in Sutton to benefit from new food and activity initiative

Sutton Council has secured funding from the Department for Education to provide a Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme for 6 weeks during the school holidays for children eligible for […]

Published on 9/07/2021 in Children's services | News

Sutton Council has secured funding from the Department for Education to provide a Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme for 6 weeks during the school holidays for children eligible for Free School Meals.

The HAF programme is funded by the Department for Education to provide additional support to eligible families to access holiday activities.

School holidays can be a particularly difficult and challenging time for some families who may have limited access to activities, food or learning opportunities. Sutton Council have worked closely with our partners, including schools, voluntary organisations and existing childcare providers to plan a programme of activities for eligible families during the Easter holidays in 2021. 

What we did over the Easter holidays.

During the Easter holidays we worked with many early years and holiday activity providers to deliver an exciting and varied programme of events. Examples of activities which were delivered were:

  • outdoor sports such as football, cricket and badminton
  • activities specifically for children with SEND, such as cooking, gardening and playing board games
  • nature hunts and team games
  • martial arts and fencing
  • talent shows
  • provided meals for eligible children
  • giving advice on nutritional food 
  • signposting parents to support networks

In addition, we delivered lots of exciting online activities for children and young people to take part in, in the comfort of their own homes. These activities were great to involve more children, especially during the Covid-19 Pandemic where some individuals and families are having to self-isolate. Some virtual activities delivered were:

  • music courses
  • adventure trails
  • drawing competitions
  • storytime
  • health and fitness

Our ambitious programme of events received some great feedback from providers who delivered the activities, for example: 

  • The children really enjoyed being able to play with other children, they loved the activities and being able to play outside making new friends.
  • Children who attended enjoyed the sessions and said that “they all want to return”. The lunches worked well, with parents choosing from a daily/weekly menu that was facilitated by a local coffee shop. Providing a waiting list was good, as we had a couple of dropouts a few days before, so we were able to offer the spaces elsewhere and offer the opportunities to others.
  • Sessions were planned well and went smoothly, children were well behaved, vegan lunches were enjoyed by most children. Children and parents gave good feedback.

Planning for the summer holidays

We are now planning for the Summer HAF  Programme and will be able to announce the activities on offer shortly.If you would like more information, please contact the HAF programme Team on holidayactivityprogramme@sutton.gov.uk.

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