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Free action-packed Easter fun lined up for children from low-income families

Thousands of children from low-income families will be able to enjoy free activities and nutritious meals this Easter as part of Staffordshire’s Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme. 


Bookings have opened for the county council administered scheme, which is available to over 23,000 eligible children aged between five and sixteen on benefits related free school meals. 


The programme includes physical play, fun activities, nutritional advice, and a healthy hot meal where possible. 


Funding is provided by the Department for Education and there are over 15,000 places available. 


Children will be spoiled for choice with over 80 clubs providing a wealth of fun activities to choose from and even some new faces joining the scheme. 


One of the new providers is MiniME Mindfulness, which will give children the opportunity to learn about mindfulness in a fun way. 


They will build their confidence, resilience, learn how to regulate their emotions and make new friends as they take part in meditation, games and crafts. 


Claire Rushton-Plant, from MiniMe Mindfulness, said: “The HAF program is a brilliant opportunity for children from across Staffordshire to take part in a range of new activities and I can’t wait to be part of the program.” 


Also joining the scheme is ComputerXplorers, who strive to spark children’s curiosity and creativity in the digital world, equipping them with essential skills in coding, robotics and game design. 


Managing Director of ComputerXplorers, Aderonke Odusanya, said: “ComputerXplorers is thrilled to be part of the Holiday Activities and Food scheme (HAF) as it aligns perfectly with our mission to make technology education accessible to all children no matter their background. 


“By providing enriching experiences during the holidays, we not only foster technological literacy but also support children's overall well-being.” 


Since Staffordshire’s HAF programme launched in summer 2021, more than 199,000 places have been given to children from low-income families on top of the additional 15,479 places this Easter. 


Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for children and young people, Mark Sutton, said: “Our Easter offer is unlike anything HAF has seen before with plenty of sports clubs to get children moving and working together but also a host of new activities designed with quieter, less sporty children in mind such as computing, wellness, campfire cooking and crafts. 


“Back in January, we made 12,000 places available to children for the winter HAF programme and I am very pleased to share that we have already expanded our offer to over 15,000 children for the spring. 


“We hope to continue to grow the programme so that every child in Staffordshire is well fed and exercised during the school holidays.” 


Easter HAF activities will run from Monday 25 March to Friday 5 April 2024, and includes a healthy meal with every place booked. 


Eligible children will have received a 'HAF' school code and can have up to four free places on the Easter programme. 


To view a timetable of activities in your local area, visit: Holiday Activities and Food - Staffordshire County Council. 


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