Holiday activities and food


  1. Overview
  2. Apply for HAF funding
  3. Documentation for successful applicants
  4. Research and good practice


The Department for Education (DfE) has provided grant funding to all local authorities in England, to co-ordinate free holiday provision for children and young people entitled to benefit-related free school meals. 

This is known as the holiday activities and food (HAF) programme. For information about the programme, visit GOV.UK: Holiday activities and food programme.

South Tyneside Council has received £750,000 and has around 6,700 children and young people that are eligible for support.

The HAF programme has 6 key objectives for children:

  • To eat more healthily over the school holidays
  • To be more active during the school holidays
  • To take part in engaging and enriching activities which support the development of resilience, character and wellbeing along with their wider educational attainment
  • To be safe and not to be socially isolated
  • To have greater knowledge of health nutrition
  • To be more engaged with schools and other local services

Applying for HAF funding

The next holiday programme will be Easter 2023 so applications for potential providers will re-open in February.

Bids can include costs for:

  • Catering (food and staffing)
  • Premises hire
  • Activity staffing and sundry
  • Initial training (the Council can provide First Aid and Safeguarding training free of charge, and food safety training is available free of charge via the Food Standards Agency website)
  • Any sundry item agreed in advance with the Council which is consistent with the aims of the programme

How to apply

All bids will be considered by a funding panel against criteria based on completion of the application form. 

The Council may be able to assist with the provision of catering, but it is not a requirement that you use that service. 

If you wish to discuss using the Council's catering provision please contact Bridget McCulla on

For more information on the HAF programme, or to discuss any future bids, please contact

If your application is approved / refused

If your application is successful, we will issue a conditional offer. 

If everything meets our requirements, we will confirm the offer and ask you to enter into a short grant agreement. 

If we fund your project you will need to complete an evaluation, evidencing how the funds were spent and what the impact was (including user-voice). 

If your application is not successful, we will also inform you.  

HAF funding is the giving of public money so it is important that it is used appropriately. HAF funding will not support projects or activities that cannot prove how they will meet the needs of the those who will benefit.

HAF funding cannot be used to fund:

  • Projects which are purely research or not focused on direct delivery
  • Costs of ongoing staff who are not working directly on the project - including salaries of permanent or fixed term staff
  • Costs of putting the application together
  • Contingency costs for example, funds to provide a source of income or for fundraising activities
  • Political or religious activities
  • Projects that take place outside of South Tyneside
  • VAT that you can recover
  • Loans or interest payments
  • Purchase of alcohol or illegal substances

Documentation for successful applicants

Example of the HAF grant agreement

Provider Activity Schedule

Provider Monitoring Form

Research and good practice

Holiday programmes: Activities and food: A programme of research by Northumbria University

What does good holiday provision look like?

Food Standards Agency: Introduction to allergy labelling changes

GOV.UK: Working together to safeguard children

South Tyneside safeguarding policies and procedures

TheCPSU: Parents in sport - leaflet for coaches

GOV.UK: Keeping children safe during community activities, after-school clubs and tuition: non-statutory guidance for providers running out-of-school settings

GOV.UK: What to do if you're worried a child is being abused

GOV.UK: Holiday activities and food programme 2022: Safeguarding

GOV.UK: Keeping children safe in education

GOV.UK: Working together to safeguard children

GOV.UK: Information sharing advice for safeguarding practitioners

GOV.UK: Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings

Your School Games: Active Recovery