Families can take part in West Sussex Holiday Activity and Food programme this Christmas holidays

A host of fun-filled activities and food are again being put on for West Sussex children over the Christmas holiday.

Help will be on hand for those who normally have free school meals in West Sussex
Help will be on hand for those who normally have free school meals in West Sussex

After the success of the Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme over the summer, West Sussex County Council has again teamed up with local clubs and organisations around the county to offer free, festive fun throughout the school break.

The programme is available for children aged four to 16 who receive benefits-related free school meals. Eligible children and young people can take part in a range of fun activities and enjoy a nutritious meal during the two-week break.

The Winter Holiday Activity and Food programme runs from December 17 2021 – January 4 2022 and families can search the clubs available near them and book on the Family Information Service online directory at https://familyinfoservice.westsussex.gov.uk/Synergy/PublicEnquiry/Enquiries/Search.aspx?searchID=171.

West Sussex County Council is also again providing supermarket food vouchers over the Christmas school holiday for every child who receives benefits-related free schools meals. Eligible children will receive a £40 voucher (£20 per week) through their school, irrespective of whether they are taking part in the HAF scheme.

Nigel Jupp, cabinet member for learning and skills, said: “The summer Holiday Activity and Food programme was a great success, where 2,000 children from all over West Sussex joined holiday clubs and enjoyed a nutritious meal. Young people made new friends, learnt skills and most importantly, had lots of fun, so I would encourage families to find the clubs near them and book.

“Once again we are providing food vouchers over the school holiday as part of this comprehensive package of support for West Sussex families at a time when Covid-19 continues to have an impact on many.”

The HAF programme is fully funded by the Department for Education and supported by Marcus Rashford, the England footballer and school meals campaigner.

Families can find out more and watch a video of children having fun over the summer on our webpage: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/campaigns/holiday-activities-and-food-programme/

Over 16,000 eligible West Sussex children are once again being provided with supermarket food vouchers over Christmas, through funding from the Government’s Household Support Fund. Eligible West Sussex families have been provided with supermarket food vouchers over each of the school holidays since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The West Sussex Community Hub which has been operating throughout the pandemic continues to be available to provide support, including food and essentials for those who need them. This includes support for children and families that are not eligible for free school meals.

People can contact the Community Hub through the website or by calling 0330 222 7980. Opening hours are 8am to 8pm from Monday to Friday and 9am to 5pm at weekends and bank holidays.