Wakefield to offer free meals and activities to children eligible for free school meals over the Christmas holidays
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Wakefield Happy Healthy Holidays programme will once again be running over the festive break for all children and young people, from reception age to year 11, who are eligible for free school meals.
A number of venues across the district will be offering a range of activities between December 19 and 23 thanks to Wakefield Council, partners and the continued funding by the Department of Education.
More than 35 voluntary and community organisations, local schools, childcare providers and Council services, will be running free activities and providing a meal to all children and young people who qualify.
Over 4,000 children accessed free activities and meals through the council’s summer programme.
Youngsters will be able to take part in activities including dance workshops, pantomimes, arts and crafts, sports activities, cooking, food, nutritional advice and more.
Councillor Margaret Isherwood, cabinet member for Children and Young People, said: “This is such a positive programme, which children and parents say is hugely beneficial, helping to boost confidence and try new things.
“Our summer programme saw over 4,000 individual children access activities and free meals across the district, and we are pleased to offer these opportunities to children and young people who may otherwise miss out.”
Feedback from those taking part, included comments from children saying: ‘’I have been feeling really low lately and this has helped, if I hadn’t of come I don’t know what I would have done…probably just stayed in bed.”
And “The sports sessions have been such a joy as they showed us new sports – at first I was extremely shy but now I am more confident.”
Parents have been very positive, saying they love the programme as it supports them during the holidays.
One parent said: “I could not afford to do any of these activities myself and with them being free it took pressure off me”.
Another mentioned: “My children feel safe and I am happy leaving them there and the kids love it”.
Eligible families can book onto the programme by visiting www.wakefield.gov.uk/schools-and-children/happy-healthy-holidays.