Oldham Council is seeking new providers for its Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme as it looks to support more children and young people in receipt of free school meals over Easter.
The programme, funded by the Department for Education, offers vital support to local families during the off-school period by providing a range of free sessions and nourishing hot meals for those aged five to 16.
These periods are often challenging for some families, especially those on low incomes, as parents manage the added costs of food and childcare, and this situation has only been worsened by today’s current increase in living costs.
That’s why these sessions are a real lifeline to those in need of extra support as not only do children get an opportunity to enjoy a variety of activities, they also get to meet new friends, taste new foods and learn more about healthy eating in a fun and interactive way which they can take home to their parents.
Councillor Eddie Moores, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “We want to make our HAF programme for 2022 even bigger and better than last year as we continue to make a massive impact on the lives of our children and young people across the borough.
“Our amazing providers play a huge part in this experience and they have already helped us in making recent school holiday periods incredibly fun experiences for those who have taken part.
“We now look forward to running our next set of activities over Easter and we would love for more providers to get on board as this programme really does help families who may be struggling.”
Since last summer, more than 9,400 children have engaged with Oldham’s HAF programme, the latest of which ran over the recent winter break.
The council has also worked with a total of 38 providers to put on a variety of sessions such as day trips to The Oldham Coliseum and Summit Up, a range of sports and athletics, arts and craft workshops and even cooking classes.
The council is seeking providers that can offer four days of four-hour sessions but all applicants are welcome and the local authority is willing to offer further support to any provider who meets its due diligence requirements.
Providers can raise their expressions of interest by visiting www.oldham.gov.uk/haf
Funding for Oldham Council's HAF programme lasts until at least March 2025 following an extension confirmed by the government.