Wiltshire Council will once again be delivering the Government's Holiday Activity and Food programme in Wiltshire during the school Christmas holiday.
Funded by the Department of Education, the programme provides children who are eligible for benefits related free school meals with free activity and food provision during school holiday periods. The programme is being delivered in partnership with Learn By Design, Occasional Kitchen and Purely Nutrition in Wiltshire.
Wiltshire's programme, branded FUEL, includes the delivery of ten face-to-face holiday activity camps, which will take place in areas of the county where there is the greatest need for the programme. The camps will provide the opportunity for children to take part in a range of enriching activities, including drumming workshops, team games, football speed cage, reaction wall, dance, talent shows, and arts and crafts workshops, to name but a few.
The children will receive a nutritious lunch each day they attend, and the programme will include fun nutritional sessions on healthy eating and festive food workshops.
The ten camps will take place in Amesbury, Calne, Chippenham, Devizes, Melksham, Royal Wootton Bassett, Salisbury, Trowbridge, Warminster and Westbury. Each camp will run for four hours a day from 10am to 2pm, over four days, commencing on 20 December 2021.
There will also be two FUEL Christmas camps for children with a disability which will take place at Springfield Community Campus in Corsham and at Five Rivers Health and Wellbeing centre in Salisbury. All eligible children will be able to attend free of charge.
Eligible families should speak to their school to sign up to the programme ahead of registration closing at 12noon on 26 November 2021.
Cllr Laura Mayes, Cabinet Member for Children's Services said, "We are very proud of the FUEL Holiday Activity and Food programme and the support it offers to families who face financial challenges during school holiday periods.
"During last week's budget announcement, the Government confirmed that funding would be made available to continue the Holiday Activity and Food programme beyond 2021, which further highlights the growing issue of holiday hunger, but which also provides us with the necessary resource to support families who most need it in future years."
Cllr Ian Blair-Pilling, Cabinet Member for Leisure said, "The FUEL programme has already made a significant difference to families during the Easter and summer holidays. So far over 4,000 children have benefited from the programme in Wiltshire, with nearly 30,000 meals already provided. We hope our Christmas delivery will be equally successful and I encourage eligible families to apply for places as soon as possible."