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Enjoying free holiday activities and food

At 74 locations across the borough, hundreds of children have been enjoying free summer holiday activities and food.

This year’s free summer Holiday Activity and Food programme (HAF) has taken place over the last four weeks, and leader of the council, Peter Mason and Kamaljit Nagpal, cabinet member for a fairer start, recently visited Three Bridges Primary School in Southall to find out more about the HAF programme in Ealing.

Something for everyone

Three Bridges is one of 32 school venues taking part in HAF this summer. The programme started in Easter 2021 and has now expanded to 74 locations across Ealing. With 46 providers and as interest grows, more activity centres are taking part across the seven towns, giving everyone the chance to find a centre local to them.

Councillor Peter Mason said: “It is with the help of community providers, activity providers and schools in the area that this scheme has been made possible and in offering these brilliant opportunities to children and young people in Ealing, there is something for everyone.

“The children are enjoying activities during the summer, learning life skills and making friends. The HAF programme allows children to participate in activities in their holidays, that they might not normally have had access to, and a healthy meal. The legacy of this programme is that children get a great start, this is a brilliant foundation that will truly enrich their lives.”

The scheme provides free holiday activities and a nutritious meal to eligible families. To be eligible, children and young people must be in school years reception to year 11 and be in receipt of benefits-related Free School Meals (FSM). The council also have the discretion to use 15% of their budget to support vulnerable children not eligible for FSM, referred to the programme by a professional who is supporting the family.

Cultural and educational activities

Activities range from cultural and educational trips and visits to athletics, arts and crafts, cookery, dance, film making and family activities.

Councillor Kam Nagpal, portfolio holder for a fairer start, commented: “The holiday activity and food programme is a great success, providing nutritious meals and varied activities for children and young people across the borough.

“The HAF programme runs as part of Ealing’s ‘It Takes a Town’ commitment, which makes the holiday activity programme a priority, giving young people from all backgrounds the opportunity to broaden their horizons and give every young person a life-enhancing experience.”

The program takes place for four hours per day, four days a week and runs for four weeks over the summer and one week each during the Easter and Christmas holidays.

Read more on the HAF programme.

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