Derby’s free children’s holiday club programme returns for the Easter break

Published: 16 March 2023

Children enjoying a Holiday Activity and Food Programme session by Freedom Foundation

Children enjoying a HAF session provided by Freedom Foundation

Thousands of free holiday club places will be available to children in Derby during the Easter break thanks to the Derby Holiday Activity and Food Programme (HAF). Derby City Council is working in partnership with Community Action Derby to bring back the successful scheme for 2023.

The HAF programme offers activities and food to children aged 5 to 16 who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals in Derby. Youngsters can learn new skills while socialising and having fun with their friends. They will also be provided with a healthy meal and given the opportunity to learn about healthy food and nutrition through food experiences and cookery sessions.

This Easter, the scheme continues to grow, with more organisations taking part in the scheme than ever before. There will be 31 providers offering a range of activities in all wards across the city, including seven special educational needs and disability (SEND) specialists.

The holiday clubs will offer the chance to try new and enriching activities including music production, drama and science experiments as well as sports and physical activities like football, rugby, basketball and street dance.

Among the programme highlights will be sessions at Moorways Sports Village, for children aged between 5 and 11. Qualified swim teachers will deliver swimming activities to increase water confidence, swimming competency and lifesaving skills, while Derby County Community Trust will run indoor and outdoor multi-sports activities.

Throughout the week, children will take part in different activities around an active lifestyle and nutrition, including a smoothie-making workshop.

Freedom Foundation will offer sessions at two venues in the city. The Spondon programme will offer sessions for 7 to 11-year-olds that use street dance and song writing to give children an opportunity to express their feelings and emotions. Similar sessions will run at Deda in the city centre, specifically for young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

The HAF scheme, which is funded by the Department for Education, aims to make the positive benefits of holiday clubs available to all those on benefits-related free school meals for at least four hours a day, four days a week for six school holiday weeks of the year.

Councillor Evonne Williams, Derby City Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Skills, said:

We’re thrilled to be working with Community Action Derby again to bring back our holiday club programme for the upcoming school holidays. The HAF scheme has been a huge success so far and continues to grow with each new programme. There are thousands of free places available for eligible young people.

Children not only get to take part in a wide range of exciting activities, but also enjoy a nutritious meal and learn more about healthy food. I’d encourage families to find out what’s on offer near them and take advantage of this fantastic scheme.

Kim Harper, CEO of Community Action Derby said:

Community Action is delighted to continue with the HAF programme this Easter, working in partnership with Derby City Council to ensure that a wide and diverse range of youth and community providers have access to this funding and support.

The response from the sector has been phenomenal, with the addition of several new providers. We hope the children and young people enjoy the fantastic array of experiences on offer this Easter!

Families can find out about all the activities and providers for Derby by visiting the Derby HAF webpage. Bookings can be made directly with the providers.

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