Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF)

Overview and Guidance

HAF is a national scheme funded by the Government to ensure that children have access to food and activities over the school holiday periods. Local Authorities are required to deliver four hours per day for four days per week, one week in the Easter holiday period, four weeks in the Summer holiday period and one week in the Christmas holiday period.

The primary aims of the programme are to reduce isolation and ‘holiday hunger' for children aged 5 to 16 years who are in receipt of benefit based Free School Meals (FSM).

Overview of HAF and Government guidance for project delivery on GOV.UK

What are we doing in Torbay

Local voluntary and private sector groups (providers) are being asked to apply for funding to run projects across the Bay for children who are eligible for benefit-related FSM’s during the school holidays. The Summer provision is expected to be available for four weeks out of the six weeks of the holiday period and will be for four hours a day.

The organisations are required to ensure that all projects have at least one substantial meal that meets School Food Standards, one age-appropriate physical fun and enriching activity that provide children with an opportunity to develop new skills or knowledge, to consolidate existing skills and knowledge, or to try out new experiences, and one element of nutritional education aimed at improving children’s knowledge and awareness of healthy eating on every day and with food education for families and carers to be offered in some capacity.

How will we know if the programme is doing what it should be

All groups are required to return data requested by the DfE (Department for Education) on each project which will help us to understand the impact locally and the local providers will be expected to inform the Project Manager as to whether their projects are over or under-subscribed so we can assist in better meeting the needs for the specific ward areas.

Significant learning has taken place from the Easter holiday provision and changes have been made to address some of the former gaps in processes and local connections with the Food Alliance and wider voluntary sector to help link the Healthy Holiday programmes with pre-existing services across the Bay.

The HAF Funding

What is the funding for

Funding can be utilised for anything required for the operational delivery of your project/s. This may include staffing, venue hire, transport costs, printing, food and basic equipment.

What is the funding NOT for

Funding is not permitted for large capital purchases (capital purchases up to 2% of your total application is allowed), legal costs, retrospective services or purchases, services already delivered by statutory services or for children/young people who are not eligible for Free School Meals.

Who can apply

Anyone who can deliver the description above or can work in partnership to form a consortium to deliver the outcomes required and have the necessary policies, insurances and health and safety processes in place. Any conflicts of interest must be disclosed when applying for funds from the Local Authority.

How can I apply

  Download the Healthy Holidays application form

Please complete this form and email it to by 12:00 pm on 24 May 2021.

Any applications received after the 12:00 pm deadline will not be evaluated.

If you would like to submit additional information such as a timetable/schedule, please document this on the application form and attach it with the application. Guidance to help with the application can be found below.

How will organisations know if they are successful

The applications will be collated on the closing date which is 24 May 2021 and reviewed by members of the Steering Group on 31 May 2021 using a simple scoring matrix.

  Download the Scoring Matrix

This will then be further reviewed and signed off on 7 June 2021 in a full Steering Group Meeting. The organisations with successful applications will be contacted by the Project Manager by 8 June 2021 and unsuccessful organisations will receive an email with the reasoning behind the decision by 8 June 2021 also.

Is there an appeals process

If your application for funding is not successful, feedback will be given and at your request can be expanded on if required. Due to the nature of this funding process and the speed at which projects have to be delivered, there will not be the ability to pause the process to investigate individual further requests, however where appropriate, suggestions of alternative funding opportunities may be passed on along with possible useful contacts if it was agreed that your project might be better aligned to other agendas/schemes happening in Torbay.

What reporting is required

The DfE have outlined the initial data that they require from Local Authorities on delivering the HAF programme. These are all in relation to those attending projects i.e. numbers attending, how many days they attended, the school they attend etc. and in relation to the costs of the project. Organisations will be expected to provide this information in full within one week of the project ending. The spreadsheet for completion will be sent to successful applicants along with the Service Level Agreements.

What Publicity or Communications will take place

Successful applicants will be expected to publicise their projects and encourage the available spaces to be utilised by children local to the area they are operating in.

There is a HAF Communications plan in place which outlines the internal communications process and some local press preparation, however, organisations are to contact the Project Manager should the press actively approach them regarding the HAF funding.

Use of the successful organisations own social media platforms and links to schools and voluntary sector groups would be encouraged.

The DfE have asked for #HAF2021 to be used to help them identify any comms messaging, and likewise, if you’d like to link Torbay Council then please include us in your post also. We may be in the position to retweet or share your post in the hope of reaching a wider audience.

When will the successful projects receive the funding agreed

The HAF funding awarded will be split into two payments. Once organisations receive the Service Level Agreement with Purchase Order numbers embedded, they can initially invoice for 90% of the agreed funds prior to the project starting and the remaining 10% can be invoiced for on completion of the project and following the submission of the required data.

Environmental Statement

We are committed to delivering services to benefit the local community with as little damage to the environment as possible; this includes reducing travel where possible, reducing waste where possible and promoting the use of sustainable and responsibly made products/items. We would actively encourage this ethos to be shared and promoted by organisations working in Torbay and delivering services on behalf of Torbay Council.

What did we learn from the Easter Healthy Holidays provision

We spoke with the providers from the Easter Programme and they shared some points of learning which may be of use for consideration;

  • Not all parents/carers will be comfortable or able to use an online booking system, so leaving a phone number to support this process would be beneficial.
  • Children booked on to the programme may not turn up on day one – phoning the parents/carers to ask whether they still plan to attend is helpful as it may free up a place for another child to attend.
  • Where siblings are booked into a project together, it is wise to consider whether they may need to be given space from each other as they would in a school environment, to help give them the ability to relax and be themselves whilst at your project.
  • When advertising your project, communicating with the local schools, community centres and Community Builders can help to increase interest. It is also beneficial to communicate with other providers to help manage waiting lists and fill vacant spaces.
  • Being able to provide activities and experiences that children and young people might not have regular access to will improve the level of engagement – especially with an older cohort (12 to 16 years).
  • Feedback was particularly positive from children where they were able to have involvement in cooking or making their own food, and conversations about nutrition were much easier to facilitate whilst they were engaged in a cooking activity.

Other points to consider:


We are aware that parents or carers do not always have the physical ability or the finances to pay to transport their children across the Bay to access certain activities. To ensure that your activities are as inclusive as possible, transport should be taken into consideration.

If you do not have access to your own transport, it may be beneficial to discuss this with schools, colleges or community centre/groups locally or to contact: Kelly Bedoyan, Transport Co-ordinator at the Torbay Community Development Trust on 07816 407495 or email


If you are a provider who has the ability to provide activities but has never provided food to the necessary standards, it might be worth considering who could assist you in delivering this element of your project. There are private providers who you could search for online who can assist with this.

School Food Standards Standards for school food in England on GOV.UK

Also, information on additional food support available in the local area can be given by Torbay Food Alliance


If you are a provider who has the experience of providing specific aspects such as crafting, growing, cooking with children and young people, but would like to offer some more ‘active’ activities as part of your application, it may be worth considering making contact with local outdoor activity companies or for further advice and information you can contact:

Kirsty Parker-Calland, Senior Sport & Physical Activity Officer, Public Health Team & Community and Customer Services on 01803 207673 or email

Public Health England’s Change4Life campaign includes both nutrition and physical activity resources.


All providers are required to have a Safeguarding Policy in place and have staff effectively trained.

Torbay Council can help to provide training for your staff if you do not offer this within your organisation. Please contact to find out how to access this.

Regarding a template for an effective Safeguarding Policy/Procedure, you can find a template on the Torbay Safeguarding Children Partnership site. 

First Aid

A named First Aider should be on-site at all times and as the projects are specifically aimed at children and young people, staff should be trained in Paediatric First Aid which is for children up to the age of 16 years old.