The activities will help the most vulnerable children in need in the borough
The activities will help the most vulnerable children in need in the borough
Families in St Helens borough in receipt of free school meals can now book on a range of fun, free events for their children during the upcoming summer holidays as part of a government scheme to encourage healthy eating and an active lifestyle.

Managed by St Helens Borough Council’s Early Help service, the Department for Education-funded Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme will see the council work with a number of partners, including Saints Community Development Foundation, Cabbage Hall Allotment, and community hip-hop arts organisation, UC Crew, to deliver an action-packed programme of events.

As well as fun activities on offer, each session will include a healthy lunch, replacing a food voucher scheme previously available to eligible families through their school.

Starting Monday 26 July, events have been designed to cater for the needs and interests of children and young people aged 4-18, from sports camps and arts and crafts – to animation and coding classes, as well as treasure hunts, outdoor family creative activities, and much more besides.

The HAF programme first started at Easter which saw eligible children and young people access 126 sessions delivered by providers, including council and catering services, as well as the voluntary and faith sectors.

One family to benefit from the scheme said:

“Our children liked the arts and crafts, and different subjects. Everyday allowed them to do something different that they may not experience at home. They learned new skills, became more sociable, and it gave structure and routine to the day and week.

One of our children is very shy but he really enjoyed his time here and it helped his confidence. He was very anxious about going but can’t wait to return.”

St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Councillor Nova Charlton, said:    

“The length of the summer holidays can often put more financial strain on some families who may feel under pressure when it comes to being able to afford to feed their children – on top of added expenses like days out – which is where programmes like HAF offer a helping hand, and we as a council will always remain committed to supporting our most vulnerable children.

“One of our key priorities is to ensure children and young people have a positive start in life and programmes like this play a big part in achieving this. That’s why I’d encourage eligible families to register and discover all the fun to be had.”

For more information, including a full activity timetable and how to book on a session, visit:

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