Derby’s free children’s holiday club programme returns for the summer

Children can take part in a wide range of activities with providers including Baby People

Wed 26 Jul 2023

Thousands of free holiday club places will be available to children in Derby over the summer thanks to the Derby Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme. Derby City Council is working in partnership with Community Action Derby to bring back the scheme for the summer holidays.

The HAF programme offers activities and food to children aged 5 to 16 who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals in Derby. Youngsters can learn new skills while socialising and having fun with their friends. They will also be provided with a healthy meal and given the opportunity to learn about healthy food and nutrition through food experiences and cookery sessions.

The scheme has gone from strength to strength since it launched in the city in 2021. This summer, there will be 29 providers offering a range of activities in all wards across the city, including six special educational needs and disability (SEND) specialists.

The holiday clubs will offer the chance to try new and enriching activities including music production, drama and science experiments as well as sports and physical activities like football, rugby, basketball and street dance.

Aspire will be welcoming children to their HAF sessions for the third year, with wrestling, cricket, football, animal handling, arts and crafts, plus many more activities on offer. Founder Rob Shade said:

We focus on bringing communities together to break down barriers and build understanding. Everyone is respected and everyone treats each other equally - the true beauty is the togetherness this creates.

When we see the children about in the local area, they are always so excited for the next club and often say it’s what they look forward to the most. For us, that creation of memories and the new friendships they make is what it’s all about.

The HAF scheme, which is funded by the Department for Education, aims to make the positive benefits of holiday clubs available to all those on benefits-related free school meals for at least four hours a day, four days a week for six school holiday weeks of the year.

Councillor John Whitby, Derby City Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care, Learning and Skills, said:

Our holiday club programme has been invaluable for so many children and we’re delighted to have it back for the summer. There are thousands of free places available so I’d encourage eligible families to take advantage of this great scheme.

Children not only get to take part in a wide range of exciting activities, but also enjoy a nutritious meal and learn more about healthy food – all for free. There are sessions across the city, so check the website to see what’s going on in your area.

Kim Harper, CEO of Community Action Derby said:

We are delighted that the Holiday Activity and Food Programme is returning for the summer holidays. The programme has developed in an incredible way over the last few years. We’re thrilled we can continue to provide the best possible support for families, young people and children in the heart of their communities.

Our partnership with Derby City Council and our providers shows commitment and dedication, which highlights the success and contribution to this fantastic programme.

Families can find out more about HAF by visiting the Derby HAF webpage while details of the providers and their activities can be found in the HAF directory. Bookings can be made directly with the providers.

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