Can your Company or Charity Help Young People This Easter

February 14, 2022

Charities, schools and local businesses are being asked to come forward and help provide heaps of fun for children and young people in Southend-on-Sea this Easter.

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council are looking for local activity and healthy meal providers to run Easter sessions as part of the Holiday Activities and Food programme (HAF), after a great trial year in 2021.

The Government announced that grant funding has been provided to local councils by the Department for Education, to provide a HAF programme over the Easter, Summer and Christmas Holiday periods for the next three years.

Now the council wants to create a tailor-made programme in collaboration with children and young people, including a range of fun and engaging activities, and a healthy meal. The sessions will be eligible school-aged children and run at least four hours a day, four days a week, over four weeks in the summer holidays.

Cllr Laurie Burton, cabinet member for children and learning, said: “I am delighted that the Department for Education has announced the grant funding for 2022-25. This shows the amazing affect it has had on eligible families over the course of the last year.

“Now we develop a more bespoke HAF and really plan ahead working with providers, children and young people to ensure they get what they want and need from the sessions going forward.

“We understand that the school holidays can bring additional challenges to families, and we have opportunity to provide those eligible families with extra support during this time.

“Once again, we are looking for local providers to give the children and young people access to fun and active activities along with healthy meals over the school holidays.

“I hope that our community providers, schools and charities will get involved in order to increase diversity of the activities and be part of this fantastic programme for Southend-on-Sea.”

There are several ways local businesses, schools and charities can get involved, from delivering the session to providing the venue. If you would like to find out more, please follow the link Holiday Activities and Food Programme Expression of interest for Easter 2022 | Your say Southend. Expression of interest forms must be returned by Sunday 20 February 2022.

The 2021 sessions generated some wonderful feedback. One provider said: “P really enjoyed going to the Easter club, he couldn’t wait to tell his teacher he has been! He is looking forward to coming back and has already asked me when he can join the providers club as he is so excited. P enjoyed it all, he loved the egg hunt, scavenger hunt and playing swing ball.”

Another said: “Throughout all the sessions the children had the opportunity to make their own lunch/dinner and enjoy healthy snacks such as apples, bananas, oranges and pears. They also had the chance to make their own healthy deserts using lots of fresh fruits such as strawberries, blueberries and yoghurts.”

The HAF programme has provided healthy food and enriching activities to eligible children since 2018, and on 8 November 2020 the Government announced the scheme will be expanded across the whole of England in 2021.

The aim of the programme is to help children and young people;

- be more active by taking part in engaging and enriching activities

- be safe by engaging with services and not feeling isolated

- eat healthy by learning about health and nutrition in the sessions

-The programme is running at least four hours a day, four days a week, six weeks a year. This covers four weeks in the summer holiday and a week in both the Easter and Christmas holidays.


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