Thousands of local children danced, skated, skied and cycled through the summer with the Holiday Activity Fund

22 September 2022
Children playing with a flag or tent, and caption reading Holiday Activities with food

Thousands of children have enjoyed a summer to remember with Wirral’s Holiday Activity Fund (HAF) programme.

The scheme provided children in receipt of free school meals with enriching activities and nutritious lunches over the long school break.

All of the activities were laid on by 70 different community, faith and school groups across Wirral. They included a wide range of sports, dance and drama, inflatable assault courses, skating, trips to a snow dome and days out in Wales for families to enjoy together.

Alongside an action-packed summer full of fun activities, children and teens enjoyed delicious healthy lunches and snacks, such as sausage and mash, shepherd’s pie, curry and rice, homemade pizzas and fruit salad.

Sports Development specialists, Wheels Extreme CIC, have been teaching local young people skating, skateboarding and scooter and BMX skills over the summer. Their company director Jenna Downing, a former World Champion and a ten times British Champion Inline Skater, said:

“Our aim is to provide alternative sporting provision in a bid to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people, whilst building their confidence, self-esteem, and resilience. We have had a fantastic summer helping children and young people to eat healthily and get active! It has been amazing to see so many children engaging in our wheeled sports sessions, making new friends, learning new skills and of course, having lots of fun! Thank you to Edsential for making this possible!” 

Funding for the programme was provided by the Department for Education, while Edsential took on the monumental task of coordinating all of the activities for Wirral Council for the fourth year in a row. Edsential’s HAF Manager, Heather Lewis, said:     

“Once again, all of our Wirral providers have gone above and beyond to give children and young people a summer full of amazing activities and delicious meals. A huge thank you to everyone who has made this summer so special for children, young people and their families.”

The HAF programme will return to Wirral during the Christmas school holiday and Edsential and Wirral Council are keen to reach more children than ever this winter, particularly as cost-of-living increases continue to impact on many families.

Councillor Kathy Hodson, Chair of Wirral Council’s Children, Young People and Education Committee, said:

“As the Holiday Activity Fund is targeted at children who receive free school meals, it is really important that parents and carers check if they are eligible. As well as providing tasty and nutritious hot meals through term time, it could also open up lots of opportunities for activities and food during the main school holidays.”

Information about how to apply for free school meals is available on the Wirral Council website.

More information about HAF is posted on Edsential website. Please follow Edsential on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with the forthcoming winter programme.