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13 May 2021 | 10:10

Community sport organisations are being invited to attend one of a series of webinars which will explain how they can secure funding and help to deliver the Government’s expanded Holiday Activities and Food programme.

Two member organisations of the Sport for Development Coalition, StreetGames and Active Partnerships, announced earlier this year that they have joined the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Alliance, a group of 16 organisations which is supporting local authorities to make a success of the £220million programme.

The HAF Alliance is aiming to maximise benefits of the funding for children, families and communities who have been hit hard by the pandemic. It also includes food poverty charities FareShare, Feeding Britain and the Food Foundation, which last year worked closely with England footballer Marcus Rashford (pictured below) and his End Child Food Poverty Taskforce to call for the Holiday Activity and Food Programme to be extended to all areas of England and to all children on free school meals.

School holidays can be particular pressure points for some families because of the increased costs of 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 and be more likely to experience ‘unhealthy holidays’ in terms of nutrition and physical health. The HAF programme responds to these issues by providing optional free holiday provisions to children with consistent and easy to access enrichment activities as well as nutritious meals.

Marcus Rashford

Under the programme, funding has been allocated to each of the 151 local authorities to co-ordinate a local scheme for children who are eligible for free school meals in their area. The co-ordinators and the process for the delivery of the programme will vary from area to area, but the outcomes of the programme are nationally led.

Jane Shewring, Director of StreetGames' successful 'Fit and Fed' scheme, said: "We know there are many community organisations who already deliver holiday activity programmes in their local communities and these are a lifeline for those children living in the most disadvantaged areas. 

"Over the last four years, the StreetGames’ Fit and Fed campaign has supported many organisations to deliver food and sport to children in the most deprived areas, and we know that there are many organisations who will be able to deliver fantastic HAF programmes this summer, but may not have the confidence that they can meet all of the national outcomes.

"These webinars will help organisations to have the confidence to put themselves forward for HAF funding, by sharing learning from previous holiday programmes and signposting to resources that can help with their applications. StreetGames is not a grant distributor for HAF, and the process for this will differ between all the local authorities, but we can hopefully give you confidence to be a HAF deliverer this summer."

The webinars will take place as follows:

  • Tuesday 18th May (1730-1830)
  • Wednesday 19th May (1330-1430)
  • Friday 21st May (0930-1030)
  • Tuesday 25th May (1730-1830)

Sign up for a webinar here.

Pic credit: FareShare.