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Free holiday activities with hot meals now available for children during the Christmas 2022 holidays

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School holidays can be particularly difficult for some families because of increased costs, such as food, especially now, when costs of living are so high, and rising.

So, we have arranged a programme of funded holiday-time activities, with hot meals, to run for up to four days over the Christmas 2022 school holiday.

Cllr Andrew Leadbetter, Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for children’s services, said:

“Children in families with lower incomes are less likely to access organised out-of-school activities where there’s a cost.

“They’re more at risk of experiencing social isolation, and they’re less likely to be getting outside, in the fresh air, exercising or improving their physical and mental health.

“The purpose of our free Holiday Activities and Food programme is to address this, and to provide activities and hot meals that children can enjoy.”

The government-funded programme for the Christmas 2022 holiday has just been published, and parents or carers can book places with the providers now.

There is a wide range of activities to choose from, from cooking and craft, sports and coaching, outdoor and forest play, music and dance, and more.

All clubs will be operating for a minimum of four hours and will include a hot meal.  The activities are fully inclusive and accessible, but parents and carers are encouraged to discuss their child’s needs with their chosen provider.

All children are eligible to register, although priority places will be given to children aged five to 16 years old (or four-year-olds, if in reception), who are eligible for and receiving benefit-related free school meals and their families.

Their friends are also eligible to attend, if doing so encourages children who are receiving benefit-related free school meals to go too.

Places are free to the children who use them, but the activities are paid for. Parents, who have booked a place, are asked to inform the provider as soon as possible if they are unable to attend.

To see the full programme of available activities, and to book a place via the provider, please visit our website.