Northamptonshire families to benefit from £1.8m funding for school holiday clubs
The Holiday Activities and Food programme aims to relieve the pressure some families experience during the school holidays - including food and childcare costs
The UK government is providing £1.8 million to fund free holiday clubs for disadvantaged families across Northamptonshire during the summer and Christmas school holidays of 2021.
Public Health Northamptonshire and North and West Northamptonshire Councils have commissioned local charity, Northamptonshire Sport, to deliver the government's 'Holiday Activities and Food' (HAF) programme.
Director of Public Health for Northamptonshire, Lucy Wightman, said: "We’re delighted to be working with Northamptonshire Sport to help to keep children and young people in Northamptonshire active and well-nourished during school holidays.
"In what’s been an incredibly challenging year, it's more important than ever to support the health and wellbeing of those children and young people who have been particularly affected by the pandemic”.
The HAF programme aims to relieve the pressure some families experience during school holidays; in particular, increased costs to cover childcare and food. According to Northamptonshire Sport, research shows that - during the school holidays - children from disadvantaged families are more likely to experience social isolation and 'unhealthy holidays' in relation to nutrition and exercise.
HAF will provide a programme of consistent and easily accessible enriching activities and nourishing food as well as involving parents and children in food preparation. The holiday clubs are free of charge for young people, who qualify for free school meals.
Director of Northamptonshire Sport, Chris Holmes, said: “We’ve all heard about how the pandemic has impacted children and young people. Keeping active during the various lockdowns has been especially hard for our younger people. As has, accessing healthy food and maintaining a balanced diet.
"That’s why we are particularly pleased to be supporting Public Health Northamptonshire and North and West Northamptonshire Councils with the delivery of the Holiday Activities and Food Programme across Northamptonshire, ensuring some of our most impacted and vulnerable communities are helped to stay active and eat healthily”.
This follows after Trilogy Leisure in Northampton announced that they received funding from the Department for Education to deliver free holiday activities and meals to 230 disadvantaged children per day throughout summer.A Northamptonshire charity is also set to open a food bank for the eighth consecutive year at Rectory Farm Centre to meet 'big demand' in the NN3 area.
Supermarket, Tesco, additionally launched a UK-wide scheme to make a donation for every piece of fruit or vegetables bought instore to go towards providing up to three million meals for children.