Information for Schools and Professionals

This is a space where you can ask questions, provide comments and get up to date information that you may find helpful.

The government has recently announced that the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme will be expanded across the whole of England until 2025.

Read about the HAF programme: Holiday activities and food programme 2021 – GOV.UK (

Read about guidance on protective measures for out of school settings during the coronavirus pandemic on this page (external link)

Funds have been made available to every local authority in England to coordinate free holiday provisions, including healthy food and enriching activities. The programme will cover the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays. Dudley have been granted £1,200,000 per year.

The funding for the HAF programme is for children who receive benefits-related free school meals. (Reception to Year 11).

We are seeking to fund a diverse range of projects and enrichment activities which are attractive and engaging for all ages and abilities of school children and include nutritious food. Activities can be open to all children with priority given to those receiving benefits-related free school meals. Children who are not in receipt of benefits-related free school meals can pay to attend if there are sufficient spaces. Spaces for children who are in receipt of benefits-related free school meals will be made available at no cost to the family.

We can now accept a number of children who are not income eligible for free school meals but who you may have concerns about or feel would benefit from this opportunity. Please email to discuss individual cases.

The aim of the programme is to make free places available to children eligible for benefits-related free school meals for the equivalent of at least 4 hours a day, 4 days a week, 6 weeks a year. The HAF programme needs to cover 4 weeks in the Summer and a week’s worth of provision in each of the Easter and Christmas holidays.

School holidays can be particular pressure points for some families because of increased costs (such as food and childcare) and reduced incomes. For some children that can lead to a holiday experience gap, with children from disadvantaged families:

  • less likely to access organised out-of-school activities
  • more likely to experience ‘unhealthy holidays’ in terms of nutrition and physical health
  • more likely to experience social isolation

Free holiday clubs are a response to this issue and evidence suggests that they can have a positive impact on children and young people and that they work best when they:

  • provide consistent and easily accessible enrichment activities
  • cover more than just breakfast or lunch
  • involve children (and parents) in food preparation

Do you need volunteer support ?
If you require volunteers to help deliver your activity, we can help you with this by advertising any roles you have with our Volunteer Centre and matching you up with any suitable volunteers that come forward. Please complete the two forms below and email them back to