Successful summer Holiday Activity and Food programme comes to a close

Group of young people playing basketball

This summer, Cumberland’s Holiday Activity and Food programme has successfully brought fun, learning, and nourishment to local children throughout the school break. With a commitment to providing enriching opportunities and addressing food insecurity for young people in Cumberland, this initiative has left many happy memories.

The Holiday Activity and Food programme, which is funded by the Department for Education, has been running since 2021 and this summer the scheme has funded over 17,000 sessions for young people, who were eligible to join the activities for free across Cumberland. The project’s success is thanks to dedicated community partners, primary and secondary schools and the Cumberland Council team, helping to bridge the gap by providing nutritious meals and engaging activities throughout the summer holidays.

Cllr Emma Williamson, Cumberland Council’s Executive member for Children and Family Wellbeing and Housing, said

“Throughout the summer the Holiday Activity and Food programme has helped to provide nutritious meals, engaging activities and a warm welcome to children across Cumberland, helping to create lasting positive memories and support young people to build life skills. We are really glad it has been such a positive experience for children and look forward to continuing to support this scheme in the future.

“I would like to remind parents who may have a child starting school this September to register for Free School Meals if they are eligible as it not only allows them to access this scheme but also means their child’s school can claim extra payment which will further benefit their education.”

Martin Birch, Cumberland Council’s Director of Children and Family Wellbeing, said:

“The Holiday Activity and Food programme has made a real impact on reducing hunger through the summer break. Children have also had the chance to join a huge range of different activities helping to close the opportunity gap.

“The activities have helped to build vital skills such as confidence, teamwork and resilience as well as giving the opportunity to meet others and make new friends. I am glad so many children and young people across Cumberland have been able to benefit.”

Eligible children are able to join the scheme for free and this summer have been able to join activities for up to 16 days. Parents and carers should ensure that children joining school this year are registered for Free School Meals if eligible as this will give them access to the scheme during the holidays, it also allows schools to claim a Pupil Premium payment which will support their children’s education.

This year children took part in a wide range of activities including drama, sports and art which helped to boost self-esteem and encourage teamwork. Nutritious meals were also provided to every child attending, helping to ease food insecurity through the holidays.

As the summer holiday draws to a close, the impact of the Holiday Activity and Food programme will continue to resonate within Cumberland. Parents and carers are encouraged to look out for an invite to register their children, if eligible, for activities due to take place in winter. To find out more about the programme go to our website.

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