Buckinghamshire Council outlines package of summer holiday support for eligible local families

With the six-week school summer break starting Buckinghamshire Council is reminding local families who receive free school meals of the wide range of help and support the Council has put in place.

Eligible families have been able to sign up to get digital food vouchers worth £70 for each child – all part of how the Council is using the Government’s Local Support Grant funding with £1.9million set aside to help Bucks families who need it. The voucher scheme is part of the council’s ‘Helping Hand’ initiative to give extra help and support to families who might be struggling with bills or putting food on the table.

Buckinghamshire Council has also announced its five-week ‘Holiday Activities and Food’ (HAF) programme – a fantastic programme of free activity sessions where eligible children (school-aged children aged 5-16 who receive benefits-related free school meals) will also get a healthy meal.

Activities available in the HAF programme range from graffiti art to self-defence to various sports and lots more.  There are thousands of places available for the eligible young people which are filling up fast; you can find out more at www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/haf.

Steve Bowles, Buckinghamshire Council Cabinet Member for Communities added: “We are working hard with voluntary sector organisations and local businesses together, to pull out all the stops to make sure local families have the support they need through the summer. It’s fantastic we’ve been able to access such a large sum of funding to help local families who need it.

“Our Helping Hand scheme is our local support programme to help local families who are really struggling. If anyone is worried about access to food or other essentials, and is not sure what help is available, they can contact the council’s Helping Hand support line on 01296 531 151 or contact the council online via the website www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk.”

Anita Cranmer is Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services. She said: “We know the long summer break can be a source of stress and financial difficulty for some families and this is why we’ve worked hard on putting the right support in place.

“The HAF programme is fantastic, offering free daily activities across the holiday period for eligible children and the range of clubs we have on offer is brilliant. We’ve teamed up with some brilliant providers and I urge local families who qualify for this help to check the programme out.”