More children and young people are set to enjoy a huge range of activities and healthy meals during the Christmas holidays in Calderdale, after more than 6000 took part in the successful Healthy Holidays summer programme.
Calderdale Council and the Community Foundation for Calderdale teamed up with organisations across the borough to provide 15,000 free activity sessions in 43 venues throughout the school summer holidays, for the most vulnerable children and young people and those eligible for free school meals.
Youngsters had hours of fun, discovered new passions and enjoyed getting active, from team sports, yoga and canoeing, to crafts, music and exploring nature. They received a tasty, nutritious meal at each session and learned about food through fun activities such as cooking, gardening and creating their own dishes.
This was part of the £926,000 Government-funded Holiday Activity and Food Programme in Calderdale for Easter, summer and Christmas 2021, which supports the borough’s Never Hungry Again campaign to end child hunger for good.
When asked about the summer programme, 92% of parents and carers reported a positive impact on their children’s physical, social and mental wellbeing. 83% of children and young people said they had been able to try out new foods which they enjoyed.
One child, aged 9, who attended the Healthy Holidays programme in Greetland, said: “I wish we could stay even longer, there are so many cool activities to try and it gets me out of the house during the holidays. I love it.”
Preparations are now underway for the next Healthy Holidays programme during the Christmas holidays. Whilst the Government’s Holiday Activity and Food Programme does not provide funding for half terms, Calderdale Council and the Community Foundation for Calderdale have joined forces to support holiday schemes for the upcoming October half term in areas of highest deprivation, funded by the Never Hungry Again campaign. Holiday schemes between 25 and 29 October can be found at https://cffc.co.uk/october-holidays/