Free holiday activities and food over the Easter break
Free holiday activities and food are again on offer for eligible West Sussex children this Easter break (8-25 April).
The holiday club places are free of charge and open to book for all children aged 4 – 16 who receive benefits-related free school meals. Families can pick from a range of sports, crafts and activities on offer near them and all children taking part will also be given a nutritious meal.
West Sussex County Council ran free Holiday Activity and Food programmes over the summer holiday and Christmas break last year and have again teamed up with local groups to offer Easter events.
In total 2,700 West Sussex children have taken part in free holiday activities and food so far. One child who enjoyed table tennis in Worthing said: “I own a medal, a toy and a bat. I won’t have to ask my brother for his, now I have my own! We can now play in the park.”
Supermarket food vouchers and library activities
Additionally, the County Council is also providing supermarket food vouchers to every West Sussex child who is eligible for free school meals (means-tested). Families have this time been given a £50 voucher through their school for each child, an increased amount to support families facing rising food and energy bills.
West Sussex County Council has provided vouchers to eligible children for each of the school holidays since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, funded through the Government’s Household Support Fund. Over 16,000 children will be given the £50 vouchers irrespective of if they choose to take part in free holiday activities and food.
Nigel Jupp, Cabinet Member for Learning & Skills, said: “Our Holiday Activity & Food programme has been a great success with 2,700 young people already coming together to learning new skills and games, enjoy some healthy food and have fun. I would encourage everyone who is eligible to sign up.
“Alongside our free school meal food vouchers, we are supporting children and families across West Sussex at a time of great uncertainty and rising costs, a key priority for our council.”
West Sussex libraries are running activities over the holiday for all ages of children and their families, details and how to book can be found on the library website. Libraries usual range of regular activities for younger children including rhyme times, toddler times and story times will continue through the holiday.
The West Sussex Community Hub
The West Sussex Community Hub has been operating throughout the pandemic continues to be available to provide support, including food and essentials for those who need them. This includes support for children and families that are not eligible for free school meals.
People can contact the Community Hub through the website or by calling 0330 222 7980. The Hub is open seven days a week from 9am to 5pm.
Find out more about the free holiday activities and food programme, funded by the Department for Education, on their website: www.westsussex.gov.uk/holiday-activities-and-food-programme