Hampshire County Council has awarded grants totalling £398,979 to local organisations that are providing free activities and a meal to lower income children during the Half Term break (21 to 25 February 2022)
The Department for Work and Pensions has issued the funding to local authorities to support schemes that help vulnerable families with food, utilities and keeping warm. The County Council is using some of the funds to extend the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme during the February Half Term, which will provide healthy food and enriching activities to children eligible for free school meals.
Councillor Roz Chadd, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, said “I am delighted that we can support so many excellent organisations to make a big difference to children during the February Half Term. The increased costs during the school holidays, on food and childcare for example, can be tough for some families – especially those with reduced incomes because of the COVID-19 situation we continue to live with, and rising energy and living costs. This means that some children are unable to take part in organised out-of-school activities and miss out on the health benefits and social connections they offer. However, we can address this issue by creating opportunities for children to take part in free holiday clubs where a nutritious meal is provided.”
Nurseries, schools and sports activity providers are among the February Half Term grant recipients.
The County Council is currently seeking applications for the Easter school holidays and organisations should go to the connect4communities.org website for details, where they will also find full guidance and application forms.
Councillor Chadd added: “I encourage local community groups and voluntary organisations to apply for a grant because these clubs and schemes make a real difference to the lives of Hampshire’s children.”
Parents and carers wanting to find out what is on offer locally should search the Family Information and Services Hub or visit local parenting Facebook pages where parents share whats happening locally.