Families who receive free school meals, because of low incomes, can sign up for the winter Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme.
Made possible by funding from the Department of Education, the HAF programme offers free activities and a healthy meal to children and young people who live in the borough. Eligible children will have already received a code from their school which they can use to book the free sessions online.
So far, more than 5,000 children have enjoyed free HAF sessions during the Easter and summer holidays.
The winter HAF activities run from Monday, 20 to Friday, 24 December and Wednesday, 29 December to Friday, 31 December. Children can be booked on to a maximum of five days across the holiday period.
HAF is aimed at children and young people from reception to Year 11. There are more than 30 different activity providers offering free spaces. Some are already fully booked, but there are spaces left across the borough for families that haven’t claimed their free places yet.
Families on low incomes are also reminded of the help that could be available through the council’s Local Welfare Assistance team. The council recently announced that it has widened the criteria for Local Welfare Assistance, meaning that more local families in crisis and poverty can receive help paying for food, bills, and other essentials over winter.
Both the HAF programme and the Local Welfare Assistance are part of the council’s commitment to fighting inequality across the borough.
Councillor Kamaljit Nagpal, the council’s cabinet member for a fairer start, said: “Many local people are being squeezed by the cost-of-living crisis and sadly, many families who were already on the margins of poverty have been tipped into crisis. Fighting inequality is one of Ealing Council’s three priorities and we are determined to do what we can to give local people who are struggling the support they need.
“I’m delighted to see that so many families have already signed up for our HAF programme. If you have received a code, but haven’t signed up yet, then please go online today and save a space for your child. The activities on offer are lots of fun and are designed to be a fantastic part of their Christmas holidays.”
Booking for HAF should be made on the Ealing Families Directory. Get in touch with the team at HAF@ealing.gov.uk