Thousands of young people enjoyed free holiday clubs this summer

Article dated Tuesday Oct 10, 2023 at 09:33 AM

More than 13,500 children and young people from across the Bradford district took part in free fun activities over the school summer holidays thanks to Bradford Council’s Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) clubs.

Children aged 4 to 16 who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals or with special educational needs or disabilities were able to choose from a wide range of clubs run by providers across the district.

The variety of activities enjoyed included trampolining, hiking, dance, art, cooking, gardening, animal encounters, music, water sports and trips to places including to the Lake District, Wales and the seaside.

Schools, charities, community groups and sports clubs were among the 128 providers who ensured children and young people had the chance to learn new skills and try out new experiences during the school break as part of the £1.83M scheme.

The clubs also provided a free, healthy meal to all the children and young people who attended as well as nutritional education. HAF clubs also engage with parents and carers and can offer information and access to health, employment, education and other services. 

Bradford Council offers the HAF clubs every summer, Christmas and Easter holidays using funding from the Department for Education. The programme is aimed at supporting families to keep their children active and engaged during the school holidays.

Councillor Imran Khan, Portfolio Holder for Education, Employment and Skills at Bradford Council, said: “School holidays can put a lot of financial strain on families, especially during the current cost of living crisis. Our HAF programme is a vital helping hand for many local families who would otherwise struggle to afford organised events and activities for their children.

“We know from the feedback we have had from children and their families that they really enjoy taking part in the activities, having new experiences, picking up new skills and making new friends.

“I’m looking forward to seeing young people enjoying our clubs again at Christmas.”

Bookings will open on December 1 for the Christmas HAF clubs. Families with children who are eligible for a free place will be able to log on to the Council booking system, check their child’s eligibility on the system and book a place at a club of their choice.

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