Easing the financial stress for families this summer holiday

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(Last Updated On: June 21, 2022)

Torbay’s free summer activity programme known as Healthy Holidays returns this July and August to help families over the school summer break.

Now in its second consecutive summer, the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme, known locally as Healthy Holidays offers eligible children and young people four weeks of free fun activities in a safe environment.

Since the launch of the successful programme in April 2021, local children and young people have booked onto more than 3,400 available places and have enjoyed a wide range of activities, learnt new skills, grown in confidence, and made new friends.

Parents and carers whose primary and secondary school aged children are in receipt of benefits-related free school meals will be eligible to take advantage of the free programme.

Every child and young person that attends one of the sessions is also provided with a healthy meal.

Starting on Tuesday 26 July, this summer’s programme offers an exciting range of activities including, sports, surfing, zorbing, cycling, nature walks, crafting, forest school, cooking, creative writing, plus film and music workshops. Specific provisions are also available for children with SEND or additional needs, at no additional cost to parents or carers.

Activities are taking place around Torbay at locations including Watcombe Primary School, Upton St James School, the Acorn Centre and Torre Abbey in Torquay, Great Parks Community Centre, Torbay Leisure Centre, Paignton beach and Sacred Heart Primary School in Paignton, and Indigos Go Wild and Brixham College in Brixham.

Torbay’s Healthy Holidays programme is made possible by the council sharing out almost £550,000 of national HAF funding to leading local providers, in partnership with other local-activity based organisations.

To further assist families over the six week break, a £60 food voucher will be offered for each child in receipt of benefits-related free school meals. Eligible families will be receiving letters directly, with vouchers being issued by the child’s education setting.

Cllr Cordelia Law, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Torbay Council, said; “The long summer break can be an exciting time for families, for others who are already struggling it can bring additional stresses and financial pressures. By offering our Healthy Holidays programme, and food vouchers we’re helping to ensure that every child and young person can enjoy the school summer holiday.

“This summer’s programme offers a great range of activities that can help each child and young person develop new skills and overall have fun. I’d like to thank all activity providers for making the programme possible and for their ongoing support in ensuring all our young people regardless of financial status get to have the summer holiday they deserve.”

Torbay’s Healthy Holidays programme has been designed to help children and young people enjoy their school breaks in a safe environment. All activities are run by qualified staff and aim to have a positive effect on the young person’s health and well-being, as well as helping them to develop new skills.

Families whose children are in receipt of benefits-related free school meals that are interested in booking their children onto one of the sessions can do by visiting www.torbay.gov.uk/children-and-families/childcare/summer-holidays/

Anyone struggling with the cost of living or household bills are encouraged to look at the councils Benefit and Support webpages for information on financial help available. www.torbay.gov.uk/benefits/

Torbay Community Helpline can make a referral for a food parcel on behalf of residents who are unable to afford food. The Helpline can also connect people to support around many other issues including benefits, debt, health, and wellbeing. They can be contacted on 01803 446022, or online via www.torbayfoodalliance.org/the-torbay-community.

The Helpline is open Monday to Friday 10am to 6pm and 11.30am to 12.30pm on Saturday. The Helpline is unable to deal with queries regarding food vouchers, any questions regarding the issuing of food vouchers should be made to your child’s education setting directly.

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