Oldham is offering free holiday activities and food vouchers this summer

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Cllr Moores with children during the summer HAF event.

Published: Thursday, July 07, 2022

Parents at Oldham are encouraged to enroll their children in a summer program full of fun holiday activities – with free places available for those receiving benefit-linked free school meals.

As the children prepare for their long-awaited break from the classroom, the council has announced its latest Holiday Food and Activity (HAF) program which begins Saturday, July 23.

With multi-sports camps, theater workshops, cooking classes and many more ready to entertain our youngsters throughout the upcoming holidays, there’s something for everyone before the start of the school year in September.

However, sessions are already filling up, so the council encourages parents to book their children as soon as possible to take advantage of this fantastic offer.

Councilor Eddie Moores, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “It will be an amazing summer for the children of Oldham and I would again like to thank our local suppliers for helping us run another fantastic HAF programme.

“This is exactly the kind of fun our children and young people deserve after another long school year and I hope they all have a great time in the sessions on offer.

“Our reservation system is now live, so I encourage you all to take a look at what your children would like to do this summer and start confirming your places.”

The latest program is free for children aged 5-16 who receive free benefit-linked school meals, with each booking including a healthy hot meal for participants.

This offer comes at the same time as families with children who receive free school meals will also receive their summer food stamps. The vouchers are worth £40 and are funded by the Household Support Fund.

Council officers have worked proactively over the past few weeks to ensure that as many families as possible, who have children eligible for free school meals, are registered so that they not only benefit from the vouchers, but also free HAF places for their children.

Schools will issue the vouchers from Monday July 11, with families who have pre-school children ready to get their vouchers directly from the council.

The vouchers are given per child, meaning a regular family of four with two eligible children would receive a total of £80 to pay bills for summer shopping at their local supermarket – a much needed lifesaver in the current cost of- living crisis.

“The non-school period can be extremely difficult for families, especially those on low incomes, as they struggle with food bills and additional childcare costs,” Cllr Moores added.

“With the support of summer food stamps and free hot meals through our HAF program, we can help ensure that no child goes hungry this summer.”

To check if your child is eligible for free school meals and to book this summer’s HAF programme, visit www.oldham.gov.uk/HAF

Oldham’s HAF program is funded by the Department for Education and aims to help young people socialize with children of the same age while having fun learning and playing in fun, physical and rewarding new sessions.

Each child also learns about healthy eating and food preparation, information they can put into practice when they get home.

Since Easter last year, the council’s HAF program has supported more than 8,000 children eligible for free school meals and engaged with almost 13,000 children in total – with children who are not eligible for free school meals. free seats, still able to access sessions at a small cost through local providers.

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