Published: Wednesday, 19th Jul 2023

Bolton’s new cabinet member for Children’s Services says supporting all young people is a major council priority, as he announced the latest school holiday support scheme.

HAF 2023Children receiving free school meals will benefit from fun activities and nutritious meals this summer, as part of the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme.

Confirming the details, Cllr Martin Donaghy said it is essential that families are supported all year round, and not just during term time.

Eligible families will have already received a VIP invitation to book activities and details of where to collect lunches over the summer school holidays.

Families are urged to visit the council website to find out more about what is available as part of the government scheme.

Sessions are for children and young people aged 4 to 17 and are available from the 24th July for four hours a day, four days a week.

The free and fun activities include sports clubs, trampoline parks, skate park sessions, forest schools, coding classes and football matches, ensuring there will be something for all ages and interests.

All activities are optional, and eligible families can still receive food packages from Urban Outreach’s pick-up points regardless of if they choose to take part in the activities.

The scheme has already helped over 10,000 young people already through the Christmas and Easter HAF programmes.

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. 

One example is the National Play Day event on August 2, taking place at Queens Park where activities will include big games, arts and crafts, and music.

All too often, a person’s life chances are determined before they are even born which is why programmes like HAF are so important.

The HAF scheme is organised by the council’s Play and Youth Team, working with partners including Bolton Lads and Girls Club, Urban Outreach, Bolton CVS and Bolton Together.

Bolton Council’s new Executive Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Martin Donaghy said:

“All too often, a person’s life chances are determined before they are even born which is why programmes like HAF are so important.

“The council is determined to support all children to get the best possible start in life and this scheme aims to relieve some of the burden that Bolton Families are currently facing with the cost-of-living crisis, and to help those who need it the most in our borough. 

“Please visit the website to access the exciting activities on offer across Bolton.”

More information is available on the dedicated HAF page.