Posted on Tuesday 9th March 2021
Thousands of Staffordshire children from low-income families will have access to activities, healthy food and nutritional education during the main school holidays this year.
The county council has once again committed to providing eVouchers to families of children receiving free school meals over Easter.
These e-vouchers-- worth £15 per child per week—will be distributed to families to use for food in major supermarkets during the two-week school holidays. Families will also have access to a range of virtual activities online via www.staffordshire.gov.uk.
In addition, Staffordshire County Council has received £2.2 million from the Department of Education to deliver a Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme at Easter, Summer and Christmas, supporting children and their families to stay safe, happy and healthy.
A virtual programme of activities will be available across Easter. This will be expanded for the summer and Christmas school holidays to include organised activities for eligible children with food provided on site.
Mark Sutton, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Children and Young People, said:
“This winter we have delivered one of the biggest support schemes in the country to the families worst affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We will help again at Easter in the same way as before and then for summer and Christmas we can look forward to giving parents additional help by providing good food and organised activities to keep children safe, healthy and happy.”
For Easter, the scheme for school-aged pupils will be administered through their schools, while Staffordshire County Council’s Family Hubs have already begun contacting families of children not in schools.
All those eligible for the Easter support will be contacted by March 26. If not, those receiving free school meals should contact their school, while all others should go here or contact their local Family Hub.
The county council is planning to work with charities, community groups and other organisations to provide physical play, sport and youth sessions for summer and Christmas. For four weeks of the summer holidays eligible children will be offered four hours of activities for four days a week. At Christmas the activities will be four hours a day for one week.
Mark Sutton said:
“Through no fault of their own the last 12 months have been difficult for families and we know from the feedback from our work this winter that our support has made a real difference to the lives of many people.
“We hope that life will soon start returning to normal and we are determined to carry on helping where we can by delivering over £700,000 of support during Easter, and a further £2.2 million of support over Summer and Christmas as Staffordshire focuses on moving forward.”