Holiday Activities and Food Programme

Holiday activities for children

Children and young people across the district may be eligible for free school holiday club places and a meal.

The government’s Holiday Activities and Food Programme takes place during:

  • Easter
  • Summer
  • Christmas

We have provided additional money to provide further holiday activities during the following half terms:

  • February
  • May
  • October

HAF enables children and young people to enjoy fun activities with friends and develop new skills.

Who is eligible?

The activities are for those who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals.

Other eligibility can include:

  • Children assessed by the local authority as being in need, at risk or vulnerable.
  • Young carers.
  • Looked-after children or previously looked after children.
  • Children with an EHC (education, health and care) plan
  • Children who have low attendance rates at school or who are at risk of exclusion.
  • Children living in areas of high deprivation or from low-income households who are not in receipt of free school meals.
  • Children in transition phases between nursery and primary school or primary and secondary school.

If a child is not eligible, most providers offer paid for spaces.

How can I book activities?

Please note that from the May 2024 half term onwards, we are using the online booking system Eequ. Guardians of eligible children can book spaces for HAF activities through our Eequ profile:

Book a HAF activity online

If you have any queries, please email

Contact us

If you need any support, please contact our HAF Coordinator Rachel Cattermole on

Timetable of activities

We update this webpage with information about holiday activities available for children, as and when they happen.

Community Fun Days

We are excited to be planning this year’s Family Fun Days (which this year, we are calling Community Fun Days).

After the success of last year’s events, we are hosting six this year, across the districts of Babergh and Mid Suffolk, during the summer holidays.

Community Fun Days serve as events which bring the community together and involve family activities and various information stalls. They are open to everyone - but are particularly aimed at providing support for those on low incomes. All activities are provided to the community for free.

The aim of the events this year is to offer a fun space for people to come together, and enjoy a picnic. We are hoping to find organisations to help us raise awareness and offer support on topics like:

  • cost of living support
  • fuel poverty
  • housing issues
  • health and wellbeing - including mental health
  • encouraging sustainability

We would like the days to be as inclusive as possible - whilst providing an informal space where communities can come together to have fun, and engage with all organisations involved.

Dates and locations

The Community Fun Days will take place on:

  1. Friday 26 July at Stradbroke Playing Field & Community Centre
  2. Monday 29 July at Stowmarket Recreation Ground
  3. Friday 2 August at Stevenson Centre, Great Cornard
  4. Monday 5 August at Holbrook Village Hall
  5. Friday 9 August at Hadleigh East House / Cox’s Park
  6. Monday 12 August at New Green Community Centre, Thurston

The events will run from 10am – 2pm. You will be able to book a space on Eequ - we will be adding a link to this platform soon.

Register your interest as an organisation

If you are an organisation who would like to join us on the day, please complete our online form:

Register your interest

If you have any queries, please email

Become a provider

We have been allocated £134,892.59 for the 2023-2024 Holiday Activities and Food Programme.

There are 2,220 means tested free school meal children (March 2022 statistics).

How can I become a provider?

If you are interested in providing activities for us, then you will need to apply for funding by completing an online application. 

  • If you are a new provider, please complete both Form A and Form B
  • If you have previously completed Form A within the last financial year - and have been approved - please complete Form B

Please see the deadlines for each application period:

  • Easter – application deadline 10 February
  • Summer – application deadline 9 June
  • Christmas – application deadline 20 October

If you have any questions about the application process, please email

What are the requirements?

The requirements follow the Department for Education’s minimum standards, which include:

  • A school standard meal (ideally a hot meal)
  • Four hours of activities
  • One hour of physical activity
  • Some form of nutritional education
  • Providing signposting to families onto further services, if needed

Where can I learn more?

The Department for Education have published information about the HAF programme.

How we use your information

We will use the information you provide only for the purpose of this grant funds application. We will store the information securely in line with data protection laws. Please read our privacy policy for more information.