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Free summer activity programme available in Southwark

14 July 2021

Parents and carers throughout Southwark may be eligible to benefit from a free holiday clubs programme for children and young people over the school summer break. The Government’s Holiday Activities and Food programme (HAF) will be available throughout the region this summer. 

Backed by a nationwide investment of up to £220 million, the expanded programme ran initially during Easter in all local areas and is also scheduled for the Christmas holidays in 2021. It will enable children and young people to enjoy fun activities with friends and learn and develop new skills. The local programme is due to launch in Southwark later this month and is targeted at those who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals. 

Cllr Evelyn Akoto, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “The holiday clubs can involve helping young people learn new things and take part in enriching activities from sport to music, dance, drama, art, cooking and gardening, as well as improving socialisation, helping young people to have fun with friends this summer, in a safe environment.”

The Government’s investment in the HAF programme will build on the foundations laid by Southwark Council, sporting organisations, charities and the voluntary sector during the successful programme over the Easter holidays. This initiative is running alongside the £200 million funding announced in February to provide summer schools to help pupils who have experienced the most disruption as a result of the pandemic.

Andrew Forsey, Chair of the HAF Alliance said: “The importance of an enriching holiday experience for all children cannot be underestimated. There is evidence that the best HAF programmes benefit children, parents and communities by enabling children to learn new skills, socialise with friends, and enjoy nutritious food in a safe environment, while supporting their return to school and alleviating parental stress. The HAF Alliance is sharing its expertise and best practice with local authorities to help them to develop and deliver excellent holiday programmes for their local communities.” 

The Southwark events run from the 26 July to 23 August. Parents and carers who think their children and young people might benefit from free holiday clubs should visit for guidance on how to apply. 

Page last updated: 14 July 2021

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