PROVIDERS across Liverpool are once again coming together to support families during the school holidays.
The Department for Education-funded Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme returns with a huge choice of FREE activities for children and young people from eligible families.
Merseyside Play Action Council (MPAC) delivers and co-ordinates the scheme on behalf of Liverpool City Council and the full list of providers and sessions can be accessed through the MPAC website.
Activities must be booked in advance and are for children and young people aged from reception to16 years old who are in receipt of benefits-related free school meals.
Supermarket vouchers will also be distributed to families. Liverpool families with school aged children (five-16 years) who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals will also receive a £15 voucher per child per week for the two weeks of the Christmas break. These will be issued by schools.
Families with children aged two who are eligible for a free early education child care place will also receive supermarket vouchers. These vouchers will be issued by the child care provider.
The council has also secured government funding which will allow for cash payments to be made to young people who are now living independently after leaving care.
Liverpool’s holiday activity programmes have proved incredibly popular with families. In October half-term, 99 organisations delivered projects across 102 sites, with 6,361 children making 13,562 attendances supported by 5,475 hours of volunteering. An amazing 31,983 meals were also provided.
DfE-funded HAF programmes run at Christmas, Easter and during the long summer break. Liverpool City Council funds activity programmes in the half-term holidays.
Cllr Frazer Lake, Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care, said:
“Christmas should be a happy time but we know that for some families it can also be very tough and this year will be one of the hardest that many people have known.
“We are so grateful for the success of the HAF programme and this is thanks to the passion of our friends at Merseyside Play Action Council who have been the driving force behind it.
“The numbers of children supported, meals provided and volunteer hours given speak for themselves. There is a need for this programme in our city; it is enjoyed by the children who take part and is really valued by their parents.”