After last year’s success, the summer holiday scheme which gives Bolton children access to nutritious meals and rewarding activities is set to return in 2022.
Earlier this year, Bolton council confirmed that £1,436,710 from the government’s Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) budget would be used over the Easter, Summer and Christmas breaks.
The HAF programme gives children on benefits-related free school meals the chance to access positive activities and healthy food during the holidays.
The council has worked closely with Bolton’s charity and volunteer sector to establish a network of free holiday sessions across all parts of the borough this summer.
Sessions offer exciting physical activities along with the chance to develop new skills and learn about nutrition.
From forest schools to sports camps and from cooking to drama, this year’s HAF summer programme will have something for everyone.
Young people can participate for four hours a day, four days a week for four weeks over summer from July 25 to September 2.
All activities are optional, and eligible families can still receive free lunches from one of Urban Outreach’s BL Lunches pick-up points whether or not they choose to take part.
Whilst the HAF programme focuses on children and young people on free school meals there are open sessions and events across Bolton that all young people can attend.
These include free Community Parks Sessions held in green spaces across the borough, featuring a huge range of family-friendly activities from sports and games to food education and cooking demonstrations. No booking required.
Park sessions are delivered in partnership with Urban Outreach, Bolton at Home, Classroom Kitchen, and Bolton Wanderers and will feature some surprise guests.
The mobile skate park will also be open to all as it visits sites across Bolton throughout the summer. Skate sessions offer something for all levels and abilities with skateboards, scooters, pads and helmets provided.
Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Anne Galloway, said:
“School holidays can be a challenging time for families who may be struggling with the rising cost of food and childcare.
“The HAF programme has been really well received and these sessions give children the opportunity to make new friends, get active and learn new skills.
“We are also pleased to provide a number of activates that are open to all children and young people.
“Many children have experienced isolation in recent years, so we are encouraging all young people to find out what activities are available and to get out and about this summer.”
For more information, visit bolton.gov.uk/HAF.