Posted on Thursday 21st September 2023
Lewis Wilson from Stafford Sports and Performance Academy with Cllr Mark Sutton
Staffordshire children are back at school after a busy summer of positive activities and healthy meals.
Thousands of children took part in Staffordshire County Council’s Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme, which ran during the summer school holidays.
The programme included access to physical, fun activities, nutritional advice, and a healthy hot meal where possible.
One delighted parent, Asma from Highfields in Stafford said:
“The HAF programme during the summer holidays was great and my daughter loved attending.
“She particularly enjoyed Dance and step ups on the bench, hula hooping, and most of all, she learned to skip which she is really proud of. I’m extremely grateful for the programme and the free activities, which enabled me to continue working. As a single parent, I struggle with childcare during the holidays particularly, and to know my daughter is not only safe, but active and entertained, is a Godsend.”
Mark Sutton, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Children and Young People visited some of the activities during the summer.
“It was great to get out over the summer to meet some of the families and children taking part in the HAF programme. It’s only then that you see the positive impact it has on their lives and the difference it makes to parents. We have also heard from schools about how they have seen children benefit in terms of their confidence and skills as they resettle back into the new academic year.
“We’re all pleased with how the scheme has developed since it launched in 2021 and it’s great to see so many families taking part. For many families, entertaining children and making sure they get a healthy meal during the school holidays can be tough and expensive, given the pressures on household budgets. This programme helps make sure that these children get the chance to socialise with their friends, learn new skills and try new activities that they have never experienced, whilst accessing a nutritious meal.”
The county council run scheme is available to over 23,000 eligible children aged between five and sixteen who receive benefits related free school meals.
The next programme will run over the Christmas holidays and parents can find out more at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/holidayactivities
The programme is funded by the Department for Education.