Published: Monday, 22nd Aug 2022

Bolton’s summer Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme has been a huge success with thousands of young people accessing clubs and sessions across the borough.

HAF 1The HAF programme encourages children who receive free school meals to access fun activities and nutritious food for 4 hours a day, 4 days a week for 4 weeks over the summer holidays.

Bolton Council’s Play & Youth Service, together with its partners, have delivered an eclectic mix of activities, from creative arts to alternative sports, with the opportunity to pick up a free lunch at every session.

Children have tried a wide range of sports thanks to Bolton Wanderers in the Community, Wigan Warriors and Salford Reds. 

Young people also got the chance to take part in the Get Creative programme, organised by The Octagon Theatre and Bolton Libraries and Museums.

Over four weeks, young people experienced drama sessions, art workshops and day trips, as well as an exclusive sneak peek at rehearsals for the Octagon’s brand-new musical, 'The Book Thief.'

Each day the group tucked into delicious and nutritious food prepared onsite in the Octagon's Kitchen and Bar.

The programme includes daily family food and fun events that saw cooking sessions provided by Urban Outreach and Classroom Kitchen.

At many events, experts from health, social housing and the council were on hand to offer advice to families and direct them any support services they might need.

Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Anne Galloway, said:

“I have seen first-hand how well received these events have been and I look forward to the remainder of the HAF activities.”

“This year’s summer HAF programme has been a great success so far, with thousands of young people getting the chance to try new things and meet new people.

“From rugby league to live theatre, the team have put together an excellent programme to ensure there is something to suit all interests across the borough of Bolton.

“It also helps families with the extra cost of food during the school holidays and ensures children can eat healthy, nutritious meals.

“The family food events have been excellent, giving families the knowledge, skills and confidence to cook more healthy food at home.

“I have seen first-hand how well received these events have been and I look forward to the remainder of the HAF activities.”

The HAF programme is funded by the government and will run to the start of Bolton Food and Drink Festival on the August 26.

Fun activities for children will be available across the festival weekend including arcade games in the former Hayes Travel unit, a disco and gaming screen and a volleyball court in the Octagon Plaza.

HAF activities are available for all families and young people, with more information available at