The Government has announced a national Holiday and Food Activities Programme for children and families in receipt of Free School Meals. The programme is to be delivered by local authorities, in partnership with the business and voluntary sector, with the aim of providing activities that focus on healthy eating and physical activity in the school holidays.
Achieving for Children (AfC) are leading the local programme in Richmond and Kingston and are really keen to involve community groups to enable provision of activity for children and young people, aged 5-16 years, across a wide range of activity, including arts, environmental activity and sports.
Food related community groups who could partner with groups providing activity to fulfil the healthy meal per session requirement are also encouraged to get in touch.
The full aims of the programme and the provider requirements to be involved can be found here.
AfC have supplied the following information to set out their local approach to creating the programme and to encourage organisations to get in touch:
We would love to work with partners in the community and voluntary sector, across Kingston and Richmond, to create a varied and stimulating programme for local children and young people in the Easter, Summer and Christmas holidays this year.
Government expectation is that we offer activities to all children and young people (5 to 16) who are eligible for Free School Meals. Activities should be enriching and physical with an element of nutritional education and offer at least one healthy meal per session. The expectation is :
Each child can access at least 4 hours for 4 days per week for 4 weeks in the Summer/1 week each at Easter and Christmas.
With an estimated 6,000 children in receipt of FSM across the two boroughs we need lots of activities and opportunities to make up the programme!
We think opportunities for face-to-face provision at Easter are unfortunately still likely to be limited, and as a result for Easter 2021 we are planning to focus on supporting families with food they can cook and activities they can do at home – to do this we aim to expand our current provision of food boxes, online activities and activity packs.
For Summer 2021, however, we hope to be able to offer a full programme of face-to-face activities and we are keen to hear from organisations to help with this. The government has set a standard set of requirements for providers, and monitoring will be required but please do not be put off by this. At this stage we are keen to hear from voluntary and community groups to understand the scope of what we might be able to offer, to then be able to work with you to develop partnerships, provide training where needed, and together deliver a great local programme. A limited funding pot is available to support the provision of the holiday activity and food provision programme.
If you are a Richmond organisation wanting to get involved and find out more please provide a brief outline of:
· what you do and where you deliver it
· the activities you provide and for what age group
· your capacity to provide 4 days x 4 weeks Summer 2021 to X amount of children.
Once the level of interest has been assessed, AfC will organise an online meeting in early March to outline the programme further and the next steps in developing the programme.
Register your interest by 24 February 2021 by emailing Heather Mathew.