Marcus Rashford promotes summer activity programme

A new short film featuring Marcus Rashford MBE has been launched calling on parents to sign up their children to the Government’s expanded Holiday Activity and Food Programme (HAF), which supports children with food and activities over school holidays.

This year up to £220 million is available to councils across the country to run the programmes locally through holiday clubs, beginning at Easter and will continue through summer and Christmas in 2021.

The film features a holiday club at CATCH Leeds, Mandeville Primary in London and Button Lane in Manchester, Marcus Rashford’s former primary school.

School holidays can be a particularly difficult time for some families due to increased food and childcare costs and reduced incomes. It can mean that families struggle to provide food and activities for children. Families who take part in the programme will also be able to develop their understanding of nutrition and food budgeting by having access to information and support.

The programme helps ensure that children have access to healthy food and enriching activities throughout the school holidays.

Some councils may coordinate the clubs themselves, and others may choose to work with another organisation to provide clubs on their behalf.

Clubs will offer engaging and enriching activities such as arts, sports, drama, and music which provide opportunities to develop and strengthen skills or knowledge.
Activities on offer can also include trips and other valuable learning experiences. Clubs must also provide healthy free meals, nutritional education, and physical activities on a daily basis.

This programme builds on previous successful pilots: In 2020, it operated across 17 local authorities, supporting around 50,000 children.

HAF is available for children who receive benefits-related free school meals. Councils are also encouraged to make the holiday clubs available to any children not eligible for and in receipt of free school meals, who can pay to attend.

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