Summer Holidays 2022
Hopes for happy holidays!
In recent years we have become increasingly aware of the demands on low income parents over the summer holiday period. Calls for Free School Meals over holiday schemes, leniency in annual leave and free clubs and activities designed to assist parents over the six week break are fantastic starts in making the summer break easier and more enjoyable for those who face the break with anxiety.
We’ve seen a number of requests coming in to alleviate the burden on parents’ income, or to provide entertainment for children, and we’re so thankful we can step in and offer support for necessities. We're so thankful we have been able to support some parents already, such as this Mum in Bedford. Thank you to our donors for making this possible.
Resources to relieve the burden...
We’ve selected three initiatives relieving a burden on parents and carers, some that have been shared amongst other charities we partner with…and of course support through Acts 435! If you are an advocate, this might help you as you support your clients in need. If you are a parent or carer we hope this is helpful! And if you are a donor, we hope you’re inspired by the various ways companies, NGOs and charities are committing to making this period of time a little easier for families it could be hardest for!
1) Requests through Acts 435
Honestly, this isn't a bid for self promotion! We’ve seen requests coming in that extend beyond governmental support. Specialist summer camps for children with disabilities, bus passes for families living remotely and garden equipment for families to enjoy time at home. We’re so thankful we are able to offer support to families in this way. You can give to those in need of help during the summer holidays using our filter function on the left hand side of the ‘give to a need’ page. Searching for a term such as ‘summer’, or ‘holidays’, is likely to show you some requests for help in this area!
2) Kids eat cheap or free
A fantastic graphic showing restaurants and cafes that are offering reduced kids meals over the summer holiday to relieve the burden on parents struggling without the daily free school meals. The government has attempted to address this issue with their HAF scheme (below), but it’s brilliant to see companies filling the gap and tackling food poverty.
The Mirror has published a comprehensive list of participating restaurants and cafes here: https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/free-cheap-ways-feed-your-27451468
3) Government HAF programme
In 2018 the government launched their summer holidays and food programme (HAF), as an initiative to tackle the burdens of the summer holidays on low income families. Extra funding, childcare and food vouchers are available to eligible families.
They also have a handy search tool for finding summer holiday schemes and programmes local to you: https://www.gov.uk/after-school-holiday-club. We’ve also noticed local newspapers sharing free or low cost summer holiday activities, so we would recommend taking a look at local publications to you!
A selection of tools from across the UK:
- West Yorkshire: https://www.halifaxcourier.co.uk/news/people/free-summer-holiday-clubs-on-offer-to-some-calderdale-children-3763372
- Leicestershire: https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/whats-on/family-kids/leicestershire-family-events-attractions-enjoy-7229086
- Dundee: https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/education/3468751/summer-activities-in-dundee-2022/
- Oldham: https://www.oldham.gov.uk/news/article/2313/oldham_offers_free_holiday_activities_and_food_vouchers_this_summer
- Wales: https://www.walesonline.co.uk/whats-on/family-kids-news/free-things-to-do-wales-21051535
- South London: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/free-childrens-activities-and-meals-over-school-summer-holidays-in-lambeth-2/