Council to provide free activities and meals to eligible children in Swindon over the summer holidays
Thousands of children and teenagers across Swindon will be offered access to fun activities and nutritional meals during the summer holidays, as part of a scheme facilitated by Swindon Borough Council
Published: Tuesday, 29th June 2021
Over 5,000 children in Swindon will be eligible for the Holiday Activity and Food Programme, which is funded by the Department for Education and coordinated by the Council.
The programme offers free places to eligible school-age children and young people, from 4 to 18 years, at local holiday providers who are already established in Swindon.
After initially running over the Easter Holidays, the programme saw over 500 eligible children and young people apply to take part in engaging activities at over 15 local holiday clubs.
Children who attend will be offered a healthy, substantial meal, and activities which will help them learn new things and enjoy enriching activities, from sport to music, dance, and drama, art, cooking and gardening, as well as providing a chance for them to socialise with other children.
The programme, which is optional to local children, will be available for four hours a day, four days a week, from 26 July to 31 August 2021.
School aged children from any of the following categories are eligible to access the programme:
- Children in receipt of means-tested free school meals
- Children in need or those on child protection plans
- Looked after children
- Children on the waiting list for TaMHS (Targeted Mental Health Services)
To apply, parents and guardians of eligible children will need to apply via the application form on the Council’s website by 21 July 2021: https://www.swindon.gov.uk/haf
Parents will then receive email confirmation of their eligibility, to either take to their chosen provider, or be provided with details of how to contact the Council for support with accessing a place.
Over the coming weeks, the Council will be working closely with schools to ensure those eligible are able to take part in the programme.
Councillor Mary Martin, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “After a difficult year, we are extremely pleased to be able to provide the Holiday Activities and Food programme once again to local children and families, who may not otherwise have the opportunity to enjoy such a wide range of local activities with other young people their age.
“This is a chance for children to learn new skills, socialise and most importantly have fun, so we would encourage anyone who thinks they may be eligible to visit the Council’s website or get in touch, to ensure their children can make the most of the summer break.”