Solihull families in receipt of benefits-related free school meals, are receiving additional support from Solihull Council during the summer holidays.
Families will receive food support, through the provision of a one off £50 supermarket voucher per child, for all families currently registered for benefits-related free school meals. £420,000 has been allocated from the COVID Local Support Grant, which is additional government funding for vulnerable families and other vulnerable households.
Whilst a range of free activities throughout the summer, are also available for eligible children and young people aged 4 – 16 years, as part of the 2021 Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme. This includes a choice of safe, free to access, childcare with a range of positive activities and a free healthy meal each day. £550,000 has been provided to operate the programme over the summer holidays. This is part of a £992,000 grant provided to Solihull Council from the Government’s £220 million national initiative, to help children to eat healthily, be more active and take part in engaging and enriching activities.
Councillor Richard Holt, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Skills said: “School holidays can be a challenging time for some families because of increased costs, such as food and childcare, at a time when income can reduce. We are pleased to be able to offer this dual package of food support via the supermarket vouchers, in addition to a varied programme of activities, that aim to make a real difference to support families during this time, particularly in light of the additional challenges and pressures that the pandemic has created.”
He continued: “The HAF programme provides not only free activities and food to eligible children and young people, but also offers the opportunity to try something they may have never done before. Sessions from beginner’s basketball to creative arts and crafts, and film making to girl focused self-esteem, confidence and online safety workshops are included. Our youth partner, Urban Heard are even offering a programme of alternative and innovative activities with gaming tournaments, animation for beginners, script writing, music mixing and mastering, as well as baking and cooking - demonstrating that there really is something for all ages and interests.”
Free school meal vouchers are being provided to children aged 3 – 17 in a Solihull publicly funded school (maintained school, Academy, or Free school) and all families currently receiving benefits-related free school meals will be contacted with full redemption details, via email or post. If you have already registered and are entitled to free school meals in Solihull, you will automatically receive your voucher and therefore do not need to contact the council. Vouchers will be distributed during week commencing 9 August.
HAF programme in Solihull is in addition to a range of other holiday schemes and events as well as Ofsted registered childcare available over the summer holiday period, full details can be found on our Family Information Service webpage.
Bookings are taken directly by the activity providers, although spaces are limited so please book quickly to avoid disappointment. To avoid other children missing out, please only book sessions your child(ren) will be able to attend.
We are working closely with neighbouring local authorities to ensure that adequate provision and support is offered to children from surrounding authorities.
For parent or carer queries about accessing summer activities please contact our Family Information Service via -
T: 0800 389 8667