Hundreds of children and young people across Oldham enjoyed an array of holiday activities for free this winter, and there are more to come this year.
The borough's latest Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme took place over two weeks in December and January, with some activities even taking place on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Free places were offered predominantly to children aged between 5 and 16 that were eligible for benefits-related free school meals, although the programme did offer additional places to others at a small cost.
Those involved, enjoyed a range of activities with local providers, including multiple sports and games, healthy cooking sessions, festive arts and crafts workshops and even trips to the local pantomimes.
Children were also provided with a healthy hot meal, as part of each activity, with items on the menu including things like a tasty cheese and onion pie.
Councillor Eddie Moores, Cabinet Member for Children and Young people said: “It’s been fantastic, once again, to see our younger ones having a great time over the school holidays.
“2021 was just as testing and challenging for our children and young people, as the year before was, so they thoroughly deserved a great time over the winter holidays.
“They enjoyed all sorts of activities and day trips out over a fortnight, and I want to take this opportunity to thank our local providers for their participation in helping us put together another thrilling programme.”
The programme, which first began in Easter last year, aims to support young people to socialise with people of a similar age while having fun learning and playing new, physical and enriching sessions.
Children also get to learn about healthy eating and the preparation of food so they can put it into practice when they go home with their families.
“HAF offers much needed support to local families on low income at a time when they would otherwise face additional costs in food and childcare,” Cllr Moores added.
“What makes our offer even better, is that the children have lots of fun and learn new things too during the activities they participate in, and the latest programme is a great example of this.
“The good news now is that we have additional funding for the next three years to continue this programme and we’re already underway in organising another fantastic offer for Easter, so I’d urge everyone to keep an eye on our website and social media as we announce more information.
“We’re also on the lookout for new providers to hold activities, so if you are interested in getting involved in our next series of events, expressions of interest will be opening in the couple of weeks, so please get in touch with the HAF Team.”
Future providers can get in touch by emailing OldhamHAF@oldham.gov.uk.
Oldham’s programme, which is funded by the Department for Education, is scheduled to last until at least March 2025.
For more updates on our next Holiday Activities and Food Programme or to book your places at future events, visit www.oldham.gov.uk/HAF