Fun and a good meal - Could your business or group provide summer holiday activities for kids?
Firms and groups in Buckinghamshire encouraged to bid for government grant money
Could your organisation, business or local group provide stimulating activities and a nutritious bite to eat for children and young people over the summer holidays?
If so, Buckinghamshire Council wants to hear from you.
Through the government's Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme, the council is making available funding of £683,000 to work with firms and groups operating in Bucks to help provide free holiday activities for children aged five to 16 who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals.
There's no restriction on the range of activities that could be provided - it can be anything that children and young people would find interesting or fun to try, or help them develop new skills or a hobby. Potential ideas range from gaming, sports and bush craft activities to dance, art and design, photography and cooking, but new ideas and suggestions are welcomed.
School holidays can be a pressure point for some families due to increased costs, such as food and childcare, together with potentially reduced incomes - meaning children from disadvantaged families may not be able to access out-of-school activities and could experience ‘unhealthy holidays’ in terms of nutrition and physical health or higher levels of social isolation.
Bucks Council is looking to work with community groups, arts providers, sports coaches, schools, private companies and others to help put on a range of options and healthy meals for eligible youngsters over the coming summer holidays.
The HAF scheme works on a 4x4x4 model, with clubs or sessions running for four hours per day, four days a week, across four weeks of the summer holiday. Providers can bid for grant funds for projects that would run for part of the four-week period.
Buckinghamshire Council's service director for education, Simon James, said: "New activities and experiences can have a profound effect on children and young people, helping them to create lasting memories, enjoy new activities and skills, build confidence, meet new people and have fun. And, not only do they get the chance to take part in quality holiday activities, but they can also enjoy a healthy meal too.
"We're looking to team up with local providers to offer a great range of free activities and things to do for those eligible children to help them enjoy something different and productive over the summer break and we really look forward to receiving your plans and ideas."
Buckinghamshire Council strongly recommends that bids include consideration of how programmes could be made Covid-safe in the event of the national situation or government guidance requiring it.
Completed bids need to be submitted by 9am on June 7.