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“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.”

(DfE, Holiday Activities and Food 2021)

Family Action services deliver a variety of holiday activities and food (HAF) programmes, such as Holiday Hub, which supports children and their families during school holidays by providing free nutritious meals along with a wide range of family-friendly activities (e.g. food preparation, physical activity, arts and crafts).

Family Action has also co-ordinated large holiday activities and food projects in England. For example, in 2019 the London Borough of Croydon and Family Action co-ordinated 79 holiday clubs across the borough as part of the Holiday Food and Fun programme and in 2018 we supported 40 providers to set up and deliver the Families, Food and Fun programme across England. 

To find out how Family Action can support your local authority to co-ordinate and/or deliver holiday activities and food programmes, please email food@family-action.org.uk