A COUNCIL scheme that helps families during the school holidays has been extended.

Hampshire County Council’s Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme - which aims to help families facing hardship - will run for another three years.

Total funding worth approximately £10m will be allocated to the county council by the Department for Education to continue running the scheme, which offers healthy food and enriching activities to eligible children during the school holidays – a time when some families struggle with the extra costs, such as food and childcare.

In Hampshire, there are over 33,000 children who are potentially eligible for free HAF places.

The HAF programme will continue to make free places available to eligible children for the equivalent of at least four hours a day, four days a week and for six weeks a year. This covers four weeks in the summer and a week’s worth of provision in each of the Easter and Christmas holidays. Organisations will also be able to offer additional places to fee paying families.

To support the three-year programme, the commissioning process is changing from termly grant awards to service contracts which will offer more certainty to providers as well as allowing provision to be secured for a full year. Organisations are being invited to join the framework of providers who will have the opportunity to respond to a ‘mini competition’ to run the activities between now and 2025. These could be schools, childcare providers, community organisations, as well as sports coaching and outdoor education providers.

Information sessions about the framework are being held in April and organisations are invited to attend to find out more. To book onto an event please use the links below:

HAF Framework Information session will run from Wednesday, April 6 April from 11am until 12pm.

To book, visit eventbrite.co.uk/e/haf-itt-market-warming-session-tickets-308687742347