Summer activities programme is a success

I AM a huge fan of the summer Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF) that is now taking place in Stroud and across Gloucestershire throughout most of August.

The scheme for children in reception up to year 11 is funded by the Department for Education for families eligible for benefits-related free school meals.

HAF programme’s purpose is to make sure children and young people are entertained, active, educated, safe and fed healthy food. This summer the programme will be open between August 1 and 26.

Now in its second year, the HAF is going from strength to strength, and is working with over 59 activity providers this summer in the county.

Earlier this year, the government confirmed HAF funding for the next three years.

This is very welcome news as this programme is helping families with the cost-of-living crisis and making sure children are getting meals and activities for a good proportion of the summer holidays.

It is also not just those in receipt of free school meals that are getting support.

Using grant funding, the county council is giving all families in Gloucestershire the opportunity to join in this summer’s fun by offering enriching holiday activities to all children and young people, through its Holiday Activities Programme (HAP).

HAP activities available include climbing, DJing, archery, media and coding workshops, ticketed attractions and much more.

The funding amount is £1.59 million for spring, summer and winter 2022. This is money well spent.

There was good news for campaigners wanting the former Ship Inn pub site in Stonehouse to be developed for community use.

I welcome the cross-party support from Stroud District Council after Stroud Conservatives tabled a motion on behalf of Stonehouse residents. A survey by the town council found 95 per cent of participants wanted community facilities at this site. I am glad that local voices are being heard.

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