Food vouchers and free holiday clubs will be made available over the Easter holidays for Leicestershire families facing huge rises in the cost of living.
Vouchers worth £45 have been made available to parents and carers of some 14,000 children, who are eligible for free school meals in Leicestershire, to pay for food during the two-week break that starts on April 11.
Families that qualify for free school meals can also sign their children up for free Easter holiday activities.
Leicestershire County Council is administering the food voucher scheme, through schools, and the activities programme using dedicated Government funding.
The authority is working with Active Together (formerly Leicester-Shire & Rutland Sport) to run the Holidays Together Easter 2022 programme, offering a number of places to eligible primary and secondary school pupils across the county as part of the Government’s Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme, funded by the Department for Education.
Eligible children and young people (aged four to 16) can access up to four sessions in total during the Easter holidays – free of charge and are encouraged to do so by March 31.
The holiday clubs involve helping young people learn new things, from sport to music, dance to drama, art to cooking and even gardening. Free, nutritious meals will also be provided.
Councillor Deborah Taylor, deputy council leader and cabinet member for children and families, said: “It’s clear many families are struggling with the soaring cost of living at the moment but there is help available.
“In the past holiday food vouchers have been offered at £15 a week but over Easter we have the funding to make more available so there will be £45 for a fortnight.
“This is important extra help.
“We are so pleased to be able to offer Holidays Together to children and young people this Easter alongside our partner, Active Together.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to have fun while getting to grips with a host of new activities, enjoying time with their friends, eating healthy food and coming away with some new skills – all in a safe environment over the holidays.”
The authority have made a variety of activities available this summer, including arts and crafts, role play, football, dance, athletics, gardening, cooking, den building and smoothie making.
For more information on the national programme, visit: www.gov.uk/government/publications/holiday-activities-and-food-programme/holiday-activities-and-food-programme-2021
Families can sign up for activities by visiting www.leicestershire.gov.uk/HAF