Over 700 children and young people from across Wokingham borough had an Easter of fun thanks to Wokingham Borough Council’s Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF).
Funded by the Department for Education and supported by the council, the HAF programme offers free activities and healthy meals during the Easter, Summer and Christmas holidays to children and young people across the borough who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals.
A range of activities was offered over the Easter break for primary and secondary-aged children along with special activities for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and their families. Over 700 children and young people attended, and received over 2,000 free healthy meals.
Activities for all
The council worked with local partners on the activity programmes, with children with SEND enjoying a range of activities and facilities at Building for the Future, including soft play, access to a sensory room, gaming, crafts, an Easter egg trail, sensory activities and a free play area. Some also joined Reading Football Club for their Easter camp for children with SEND.
Primary aged children participated in a variety of activities through Energy Kidz, Funtasic Kids, Get Active, U-Sport and BA Sports. Activities included sports, drama, quizzes, story writing, healthy food preparation and wellbeing activities.
Secondary students took part in activities through Alt Prov, including a range of sports and arts, and had the opportunity to design their own HAF programme. Offsite activities included bowling and a visit to Reading Football Stadium.
Also on offer were family community events lead by the community engagement team in Wokingham, Woodley, Finchampstead and Shinfield where families came together to have fun with activities such as the smoothie bike with My Journey, planting workshops by Freely Fruity, and sports and games with U-Sport.
About the HAF programme
To help shape the HAF programme for young people in Wokingham borough, the council set up a steering group of young people to help it understand what they want to get involved in.
The HAF grant provides funding to local community groups and charities to support activities and food provisions for local residents. These included The Cowshed who offered families the opportunity to attend a BBQ and craft session in Winnersh, and Woodley Lunch Bunch, who continue to support families in Woodley.
The HAF programme also signposts families to local support services including First Days who provide school uniforms, The Cowshed who provide clothing, and Share, who supply food parcels.
The Household Support Fund, a programme funded by the Department for Work and Pensions, provided £30 of food and grocery vouchers per child over the Easter break, for 2700 children and young people in receipt of benefits-related Free School Meals in Wokingham borough. .
Councillor Prue Bray, executive member for children’s services said: “It was great that yet again, children and young people were able to enjoy a range of activities over the Easter holidays and I look forward to seeing what fun is in store for the summer.”
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