The Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme returns over the Christmas holidays.
The HAF winter programme provides free activities for school-aged children and young people in Reception to Year 11 in receipt of benefits-related free school meals. Children attending also receive a nutritious meal.
Inclusion funding is also available for disabled children or those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), to help make HAF more accessible.
This funding can provide the additional support for children with SEND to attend Ofsted-registered childcare and HAF activities. to help make HAF more accessible. These families may also be interested in the Winter HAF SEND Family Fun Day on Monday 18th December.
Sign up now
Bookings for winter HAF launched in November, and families can choose from 23 providers across the city, offering over 2,300 free HAF places at their clubs.
There's something for everyone, from sports, performing arts, coding, playschemes, and more.
Activities are planned between the following dates:
- Monday 18 December to Friday 22nd December
- Wednesday 27 December to Friday 29th December
Supporting families over the Christmas holidays
Jo Glazebrook, Project Manager at the Community Kitchen, explained why they felt it was so important to support HAF.
"We are acutely aware that many families currently have to make some tough financial decisions, which can often affect the quantity and quality of food in a household.
"Through our HAF Family Cookery sessions, we invite families from low-income households to develop cooking skills and an understanding of preparing low-budget and low-energy meals.
"Families then taste their delicious creations at our shared dining table and package leftovers to take away and enjoy at home."
Councillor Lucy Helliwell, joint chair of the Council's Children, Families & Schools committee, recognised the importance of HAF for many families, said:
"The school holidays can be particularly stressful for many families, especially over winter with the added weight of Christmas and energy bill costs.
"HAF aims to help children from low-income households’, giving them access to fun and engaging activities while also helping support their development.
“Places for activities are limited, so parents and carers should book early to avoid disappointment.”
To learn what’s on offer and book your place, please go to our online Brighton & Hove HAF programme listings.
Find out more
Watch our film below from a Brighton Table Tennis Club HAF holiday camp to get an idea of what HAF has to offer: Holiday, Activities and Food programme (HAF) - YouTube]
Since Brighton & Hove's HAF programme launched in April 2021, 31,387 HAF places have been attended.
Last year alone, 1,572 children and young people engaged in the programme, representing 20% of all those eligible.
HAF is one response to the Council’s cost of living support. More support and guidance can be found in the Cost of living support directory.
Brighton & Hove Food Partnership recently released the findings of their 2023 Brighton & Hove Emergency Food Network (EFN) Annual Report.