HAF_logo logo

Bolton's HAF (Holiday Activities and Food Programme)

#HAF2022 - Easter 2022 

Funded by the Department of Education and co-ordinated locally by Bolton Council, our HAF programme was such fun last year.  The funding supported children and families on benefits related Free School Meals with free fun, creative sessions offering sports, games, physical activity and food for a minimum 4 hours a day, 4 days a week.  #TeamBolton delivered a fantastic HAF programme over Easter, Summer and Christmas with over 10,000 individual young people taking part!  For more information on the national HAF programme visit the Gov.uk website

We are back again in Bolton over Easter (#HAF2022)  with many more free activity and food sessions, family cookouts and skate park sessions.  Some sessions are just for children and young people on free school meals, but many are open to all young people (most council sessions, skate parks and our free community family cookouts).  

Look out for all the details of what's going on near you, in the listings tabs below:

#HAF2022 in Bolton - What else is on offer?


Most council schemes are free and you can just turn up on the day, register (may need an adult) and join in the fun!  New children and young people are always welcome (age restrictions may apply - see individual listings & subject to capacity) and many also run year round!  So pop along today and get involved.

THE BIG MATCH - FOOTBALL, FUN & PHYSICAL ACTIVITY & FOOD - We are linking up with Bolton Unity Project who have just announced their first annual Bolton Unity Festival, taking place at the University of Bolton Stadium on Bank Holiday - Monday 18th April 2022 from 11am https://www.facebook.com/BoltonUnityProject/  We will be there on the day to promote the HAF programme with our friends from Bolton Wanderers in the Community and Bolton at Home.  Tickets for the big match against Accrington Stanley are on sale now.

FAMILY FUN - COMMUNITY COOKOUTS - OPEN TO ALL - Our Family Fun and Food sessions are back for an EGG-CITING 2 weeks over Easter, on Johnson Fold, Red Lane - Breightmet, Halliwell & Washacre. 

Join in with a HUGE range of FUN family-friendly activities including sports, games, food education and a cracking FREE bar-b-que for all to enjoy! Delivered in partnership with Urban Outreach, Bolton at Home, Bolton Council, Classroom Kitchen, and Bolton Wanderers - where else would you want to be?  No need to book and hopefully the weather will be kind!

OTHER FOOD SUPPORT - If eligible, local food and other support can be accessed via the link:

Local Welfare Provision - help in a crisis or emergency – Bolton Council

Also take a look at some easy recipe ideas in our great winter activity and recipe booklet from Winter 2021.

Our partnership with local charity Urban Outreach will continue this summer with a new and upgraded 'BL Lunches and HAF' programme.  See https://www.urbanoutreach.co.uk/portfolio-posts/blboltonlunches/ nearer the time.

SEND SUPPORT - The SEND Local Offer provides a single point for information to help families access details about services available to them, and offer guidance in multiple areas, such as Early years places, schools (including academies and free schools), colleges, health and care & leisure activities.  The Local Offer also includes guidance for parents when they need to speak with practitioners and professionals and information on giving feedback, raising concerns and making complaints. https://www.bolton.gov.uk/sendlocaloffer/


#HAF2022 in Bolton - Important further information for parents/carers:

Is my son/daughter eligible?  The HAF programme is primarily for children/young people aged 4-16 years (school age), who are eligible for and receiving benefits-related free school meals (FSM), and their families.  As such some sessions are just for children and young people on free school meals, but many more are open to all young people (most council sessions, skate parks and community cookouts).  Look out for all the details in the listings tabs for your area.

Please note that not all activity providers will be able to accommodate the full age range of the programme. Please check with the provider listings what age group is appropriate to their activity.

How do we access the programme?  To access the programme, simply book a place through one of the providers we list. Please note that booking details differ depending on each provider, for some there is no need to book, and these are noted in the listings.

Who's involved?  We are working with Council teams, local schools, voluntary and community organisations as well as childcare providers to deliver the HAF programme locally.

How do I know my son or daughter is in a COVID secure provision?  COVID risk assessments for all HAF activities have been completed. These will continue to be updated if national and local government guidance changes. We also have contingency plans in place to deliver activities through alternative venues or formats in the unlikely event that they cannot operate. 

Do you have provision for children/young people with SEND?  Yes, we have some provision for children with SEND. Many activities will be inclusive and able to support children with SEND - look out for the 'SEND' listings on the timetable.  The Bolton SEND Local Offer provides a single point for information to help families access details about services available to them, and offer guidance in multiple areas, such as early years places, schools (including academies and free schools), colleges, health and care & leisure activities.  https://www.bolton.gov.uk/sendlocaloffer/

Does my son/daughter need to bring anything?  Just themselves, a smile (hopefully!), and appropriate clothing for the activity.  If the activity is outdoors, please remember to bring a waterproof coat. If for some reason your activity is cancelled due to wet weather, the activity provider will endeavour to contact you at the earliest opportunity to let you know.

Will food be provided?  Yes food will be provided each day of the activity.  If your son/daughter has a food allergy or a special dietary requirement, or if you have a question about the food offer, please can you speak to the activity provider as the food offer may differ?  Contact details for the activity providers are on these webpages.

Why are the activities only in some locations?  We invited applications from activity providers across the borough who were able to meet the strict HAF criteria and limited budget. However, as you know, we live in a very diverse borough, which means there will be limitations as to where the programme can operate, so unfortunately, there may not be a scheme in every area.  However many sessions are open to all and there are some boroughwide sessions, community cookouts, skate park session etc., where all children and young people are welcome, and there will be more for Summer.

Is transport provided?  In most case we would encourage you to make your own way to the activity.

Support during February, May and October half term holidays?  The HAF programme is not funded to provide holiday clubs over the half term holidays but other activities and support may be available to families. You can visit https://www.mylifeinbolton.org.uk/ to find out what is available in your area. Please note that these are not HAF funded programmes so we cannot guarantee availability.

Families who are eligible for Universal Credit may be able to claim back up to 85% of their childcare costs. You can find information about help with childcare costs on the GOV.UK website.

Who has funded the holiday programme?  The vast majority of sessions are funded by the Department for Education (DfE), but some are also funded by Bolton Council, Horwich Town Council, Westhoughton Town Council, EPIC (Egerton Park), Friends of Astley Bridge & local Councilors' Area Forum budgets in Astley Bridge, Bromley Cross, Breightmet, Hulton, Westhoughton, Kearsley & Horwich.  Our thanks go to all who have made the programme so accessible! 


Finally:  See the video below to learn more and see all the fun we had in Bolton last Summer:

Funded by the Department for Education