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Holiday Activities and Food

The Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme provides access to activities and healthy meals for children in receipt of benefits related free school meals.

The programme is funded by the Department for Education and offers free activities over the summer, Christmas and Easter holidays. The sessions include a variety of fun activities, including sports, music, arts and other exciting opportunities to learn and develop skills, alongside a healthy meal each day.

Dancing activity
Group of children celebrating after activities

What is HAF?

The Holiday Activities and Food programme (HAF) provides healthy food and enriching activities to children in receipt of free school meals.

The activities take place across the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays.

The aim of the programme is to make free places available to 5 to 16 year old children in the area who are eligible for and receive benefits-related free school meals (the equivalent of at least four hours a day, four days a week and for six weeks a year). This would cover four weeks in the summer and a week’s worth of provision in each of the Easter and Christmas holidays.

More information on the programme and associated guidance is available at GOV.UK – HAF programme.

Our local model

The approach in North East Lincolnshire is aimed at encouraging children to:

  • eat more healthily over the school holidays
  • be more active during the school holidays
  • take part in engaging and enriching activities which support the development of resilience, character and well-being along with their wider education attainment
  • be safe and not to be socially isolated
  • have greater knowledge of health nutrition
  • be more engaged with school and other local services

Provider information and grant applications

Applications for Summer 2024 will be available shortly.

Guidance and standards documents:

Read more about the programme at GOV.UK – Holiday activities and food programme 2023.

What we are looking for?

We are seeking Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) proposals that support and enable local communities which are based on:

  • Enabling people to take the lead (through clear and localised engagement activities and through targeting priority wards)
  • Happier and stronger relationships/ shared and sustainable spaces (in particular tackling loneliness and isolation)

We are looking for examples of innovation in relation to health and wellbeing. This may mean adopting proven good practice or trying out new approaches. In particular, we are looking to support proposals that are focused on:

  • Securing the future for children and young people
  • Keeping people well
  • Independence of vulnerable groups
  • Improving access to high quality and integrated and equitable services

Who can apply?

Grants are available to groups, organisations, schools and colleges working within North East Lincolnshire who meet the criteria set out in the HAF guidance.

Assessment process and criteria

HAF projects funded through the earmarked reserve funding will be assessed by a panel agreed by the NELC HAF Steering Group.

Applications will be assessed on the basis of:

  • Eligibility of the organisation/ group to apply for this funding
  • Eligibility of the project/ activities in line with the HAF Guidance
  • Demonstration of adherence to policies for: safeguarding; health and safety; insurance; accessibility and inclusiveness; Ofsted registration if required
  • Demonstration of the impact of the project, its scale and its potential for being replicated
  • The applicant organisations will be responsible for the project management and delivery of successful schemes – Consequently, the panel will be looking for applications that demonstrate evidence and clarity of both planning and delivery of projects
  • Systems for collecting, monitoring and assessing the impacts of the project and for reporting and sharing this information with NELC and the DFE (effective performance management)
  • Sustainability – what the longer term legacy of this project will be, and, where appropriate, partner sponsorship
  • Where projects involve working with vulnerable members of society, such as children, young people or vulnerable adults, we will also consider what measures you have in place to safeguard their wellbeing


Payment arrangements will be agreed in advance, but all spends must be properly evidenced and made available for audit if and when required.

Monitoring of projects

Before the HAF project starts, the applicant will sign an agreement which sets out the obligations on the two parties. This is important as the way in which the money is used will be subject to inspection and audit, and your monitoring plans will help us ensure that your project is progressing along the right tracks.

An account of all monies spent must be provided within 14 days of completion of the project. If money is not spent as agreed in the project submission, then the panel will recover any monies in accordance with the agreement.

If you would like to apply for funding to deliver a HAF summer programme, please fill in the Holiday Activities and Food Funding request form.

Information for parents and carers

How to book

Booking information

Bookings for Summer 2024 will open shortly.

You can book your (HAF) holiday activities all in one place. Please follow the link that has been sent to you from your child’s school.

Please register your child to access the booking system.

Please contact your child’s school if you are eligible for free school meals but have not received a voucher.

Cancelling bookings

If your child cannot attend a booked session, cancel your booking as soon as possible on the app so another child can be offered the place. Providers can remove all future bookings if there is non-attendance of more than two sessions or if you have not confirmed your cancellation with the provider. We cannot guarantee that HAF Evouchers will be reimbursed if bookings are cancelled late.

What’s on

Login to your EVouchers account in December for a full list of HAF Winter Holiday Activities.

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