Free summer fun ready and waiting for Bucks youngsters

Thousands of places are up for grabs over the summer break for eligible children and young people across Buckinghamshire to enjoy a dazzling range of holiday activities and experiences in their local area… and all for free.

With activity choices ranging from dance, music, sport and art to photography, kayaking and fitness training and much, much more, there really is something for every age and interest, whether it’s developing a hobby or skill or trying something new for the very first time.

Available to children and young people aged 5–16 who receive benefits-related free school meals, each session includes a tasty hot meal and the chance for youngsters to hang out and make new friends.

Further details of what’s on, where and how to secure places can be found at www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/holiday-activity-fund. Take-up is expected to be high and the advice for eligible families is to book early.

Buckinghamshire Council, local organisations and charity groups have teamed up to offer the sessions as part of the Government’s £220 million national Holiday Activities and Food programme (HAF). The programme ran initially over Easter and is set to grow and expand over the summer and upcoming Christmas holiday periods.

Since the pandemic started, there has been huge disruption for children and young people so the summer HAF programme gives them the chance to get out and enjoy a range of exciting activities with others their age.

Buckinghamshire Council Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services, Anita Cranmer, said she was amazed at the range of free activities and experiences on offer. “The Buckinghamshire summer HAF programme is a great opportunity for those eligible children to get out and do something active and enjoyable and the best thing is, it doesn’t cost a penny.

“All activities will be Covid safe and there’s a hot meal provided too, so I encourage parents, carers and their children to look at what’s on offer and get booked in sooner rather than later.”

Anita added: “You can book up to four weeks’ worth of sessions over the summer period which really provides great opportunities for children to get fully involved but can also give parents and carers a much-needed break too.”

There is already evidence that the best HAF programmes benefit children, parents and communities by enabling children to learn new skills, socialise with friends, and enjoy nutritious food in a safe environment, while supporting their return to school and alleviating parental stress.

Find out more about the Council’s HAF programme at: www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/holiday-activity-fund