School pupils across Stoke-on-Trent benefited from a range of fun and educational activities and food throughout the summer holidays thanks to a unique partnership between Stoke-on-Trent City Council and the Hubb Foundation. Thousands of children made new friends, took part in different activities and were treated to healthy meals.
Key statistics from the summer HAF programme include:
- 38,141 free healthy meals were provided
- 775 free activity sessions were held amounted to 2,923 hours
- 77 local providers supported the programme
- 50 schools took part
- 28 venues in the community were used
The Government’s Holiday Activities and Food fund (HAF) primarily supports children who receive free school meals. However, in Stoke-on-Trent, many more children across the city were able to access the summer’s activities programme.
The summer programme was delivered by both schools and in community venues and available to children aged between five and 16. The sessions included a range of physical activities, arts and crafts and exciting new experiences run by expert organisations including STEM activities. Many local businesses such as Synectics Solutions, JCB and Valentine Clays Ltd supported the programme by offering children experience within their industries.
Councillor Janine Bridges, cabinet member for the economy and education, said: “I am delighted with how successful the summer HAF programme has been, thousands of children have benefited from free activities and food, which I know will have given many parents some much needed support. Feedback from parents and guardian on the holiday activities has been extremely positive.
“The Hubb Foundation has played an integral role in delivering this within the community and it has been amazing to see how many local businesses have shown their support to the programme. Our HAF programme is truly a great example of how powerful the Stoke-on-Trent community network is.”
Gareth Higgins MBE is the Chair of Stoke-on-Trent children’s charity the Hubb Foundation. Hubb staff planned and oversaw the delivery of activities and meal provision to thousands of young people across Stoke-on-Trent during the summer holidays. Gareth said: “We were delighted to partner with the city council to deliver thousands of opportunities for young people and families to have fun, make memories and learn new skills in a safe environment during the summer holiday period.
“The network our team has established in recent years helps us to ensure we reach as many communities as possible across the city and we were so pleased with the positive feedback.
“We very much look forward to working in partnership going forward to ensure Stoke-on-Trent remains a beacon of good practice here in the UK in terms of holiday provision for children and families.”
Councillor Dave Evans, cabinet member for children and young people said: “Children are our number one priority and after a turbulent 18 months for them it has been fantastic to see how the lives of some of the most vulnerable children in the city have been improved by having this free summer holiday activities and food programme.”
The HAF programme is a government initiative funded by the Department for Education that offers free places for children and young people across the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays in 2021. It recognises that school holidays can be pressure points for some families due to increased costs and reduced incomes.
The Hubb Foundation will be offering further opportunities for school pupils during October half term. Local businesses who wish to get involved should contact email@example.com