Free Christmas activity programme available for young people in Torbay.  

Healthy Holidays returns during the school festive break after two successful programmes ran over the Easter and summer holidays.  

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 activity programme.  

Starting on Monday 20 December, eligible children and young people will enjoy two weeks of fun activities with friends and get the opportunity to learn and develop new skills.  

Made possible by us sharing out over £600,000 received as part of the national Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme to local providers, the programme helps to alleviate social isolation and some of the parental financial stresses that school holidays can bring.   

Sessions are taking place around Torbay at locations including the Acorn Centre and Windmill Centre in Torquay, Torbay Leisure Centre and Roselands Nursery in Paignton. 

Each session includes a healthy lunch. Specific provisions are available for children with SEND or additional needs, at no additional cost to parents or carers.  

Activities on offer over Christmas include sports, Christmas arts and crafts, storytelling, cooking, film making and drama sessions.  

In Torbay over the summer holiday period, 21 projects were run under the scheme by eight lead providers, in partnership with other local activity-based organisations. In total 1,275 children and young people who were eligible attended over the summer and benefitted greatly from the activities offered. 

Councillor Cordelia Law, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Torbay Council, said; “Following the summer programme, many parents and carers said how much their children had enjoyed the activities and how as a result their child had made new friends and grown in confidence. This is the third time we have run this programme in 2021 to ensure our families enjoy the school holidays without added financial stress. Christmas can bring a lot of additional pressures to families, so I’d encourage those that are eligible to book their spaces.” 

The 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 so by visiting the events page. 

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