During the school summer holidays, more than 13,500 children and young people from across the Bradford district participated in a range of enjoyable activities, all thanks to Bradford Council’s Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) clubs.

Children, aged 4 to 16, who qualify for free school meals based on benefits or have special educational needs or disabilities, were able to select from a diverse array of clubs operated by providers throughout the district.

The activities on offer encompassed trampolining, hiking, dance, art, cooking, gardening, encounters with animals, music, water sports, and excursions to places such as the Lake District, Wales, and the seaside.

A total of 128 providers, including schools, charities, community groups, and sports clubs, ensured that children and young people had the opportunity to acquire new skills and explore fresh experiences during the school break as part of the £1.83M scheme.

Furthermore, the clubs furnished a complimentary, nutritious meal to all attendees, along with instruction on nutrition. The HAF clubs also engage with parents and carers, providing them with information and access to health, employment, education, and other services.

Bradford Council extends the HAF clubs every summer, as well as during the Christmas and Easter holidays, utilising funding from the Department for Education. The initiative aims to aid families in keeping their children active and engaged during school breaks.

Councillor Imran Khan, Portfolio Holder for Education, Employment and Skills at Bradford Council, said: “School holidays can put a lot of financial strain on families, especially during the current cost of living crisis. Our HAF programme is a vital helping hand for many local families who would otherwise struggle to afford organised events and activities for their children.

“We know from the feedback we have had from children and their families that they really enjoy taking part in the activities, having new experiences, picking up new skills and making new friends.

“I’m looking forward to seeing young people enjoying our clubs again at Christmas.”

Bookings for the Christmas HAF clubs will commence on December 1. Families with eligible children can log into the Council’s booking system, verify their child’s eligibility, and reserve a spot at a club of their preference.