Let your children and young people have a cracking festive break with Winter HAF sessions!

School aged children and young people can enjoy festive fun with the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme.

Children in a circle with heads together

Providers in Southend-on-Sea will be ready to accept bookings for winter sessions on Monday 22 November.

Postcards will be handed out to eligible children and young people at school from Monday 22 November, containing a unique code which parents can use to book their children on to the sessions over the festive holidays.

The sessions are offered between Saturday 18 December 2021 to Monday 3 January 2022. Children and young people who receive benefit related free school meals, are eligible to take part in the programme.

Cllr Laurie Burton, cabinet member for children and learning, said: “I’m pleased that we are able use this opportunity to provide eligible families with extra support this Christmas season.

“We understand that the school holidays can bring extra difficulty to families. The programme offers great support and gives the children and young people access to fun and active activities along with healthy food over the school holidays.
“I hope that eligible families will take up this wonderful opportunity for their children and book them on the sessions to keep them healthy, active and entertained.”

If you think your child or young person is eligible, and you do not receive your postcard, please contact your child’s school or email the HAF team at haf@Southend.gov.uk 

Marcus Rashford, MBE, is a supporter for HAF. He said on their website: "It’s very important that children have activities to do during the holidays. I can only go back to my own experiences and what I would have been doing if I didn’t have places my friends and I could go in a safe environment." You can watch Marcus’s promotion video here: Marcus Rashford spreading the word | Holiday Activities & Food Programme 2021 - YouTube

The summer sessions generated some great feedback. One provider said: “They are so proud of their collaborative work and so are we! It’s the cherry on top to such a great month of positive activities with all this awesome kids.”

Another, said: “The summer programme brought to me the pleasure of being able to spend the day playing games, doing activities and talking with the lovely attendees throughout the week! It was a great way to spend the day with a highlight definitely being the collaborative painting and some intense games of ‘Uno’. 

“I am grateful to be a part of the summer programme this year and hope everyone else enjoyed their time there.”

Published: 19th November 2021

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