Free activity places for young people

Thousands of free holiday activity places are available for parents and carers of primary and secondary school aged children who are eligible for income-related free school meals, as part of the government’s Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme.

The programme, funded by the Department for Education, has already successfully been run by Cheshire East Council since 2021. 

The council has worked with local schools, childcare providers and community and voluntary organisations to offer thousands of free activities places over the summer school holidays, including sports, arts and crafts, baking, games and trips out. The free places include sessions for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and include a nutritious meal each day.

Finding an activity to book is easy, just visit the Cheshire East Council website for their Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme where you will find all the information you need. Alternatively, you can call the Cheshire East Family Information Service on 0300 123 5033.

The programme received great take-up earlier this year during the Easter holidays, with 3725 sessions delivered across 27 providers, for 1091 young people across Cheshire East. 5128 free school meals were provided during this time.

Families who are being supported by the council’s early help or social care teams are asked to contact their lead worker, who can help with access to the free places.

Parents and carers not eligible for the free places are asked to contact the activity organisers directly, as some do offer fee-paying sessions.

The HAF programme sits alongside the government’s household support fund, which aims to help families across England with the cost of food, energy, water bills and other essentials. For more help and advice on the cost of living including the household support fund and how to find out if your child is eligible for income related free school meals, visit: or call 0300 123 5012.

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