A Special Visit from the Department for Education to our HAF Summer Programme

A Special Visit from the Department for Education to our HAF Summer Programme

As we have done for many years now, this summer we hosted our Holiday Activities and Food programme – created to support over 800 young people with face to face provision through funding from the HAF programme. The scheme this year was a HUGE success, thanks to our fantastic team of facilitators, support and office staff, and newly appointed Community Manager, Becky! 

To enhance the experience for the young people and children taking part in this year’s programme, we appealed to businesses and organisations to support us in this goal.

We wanted to ensure all young people accessing our community programmes have a reusable water bottle available to use and take home after they have attended our programmes. And Bristol Water answered our call to action! Funding UV with enough water bottles that all of our participants could quench their thirst on those sunny days this summer. 

But we didn’t stop there, John Lewis also stepped up to the plate to supply our summer programmes with sensory equipment. They ensured that each programme had a calm space available for emotional regulation, which supported the young people attending with specific needs. The impact of this accessibility greatly improved the experience for the young people who find attending these spaces overwhelming and challenging. 

Not only were these programmes strengthened by the additions from Bristol Water and John Lewis but we also had the pleasure of working with Team Canteen; benefitting from their amazing culinary creations once again. And, the team’s nutritious, delicious meals introduced many of the programme’s participants to new flavours and cuisines.  

Near the end of the summer, we were lucky enough to have a very special visit from the Department for Education. We were joined by Susan Acland-Hood and Susie Owen alongside 650 of their DfE colleagues, who joined us virtually for the afternoon. It was inspiring to hear from a few of the children taking part in HAF, and to be able to share some of the achievements of the programme. 

After the huge success of our Summer Programme, we have thrown ourselves right back in to planning and creating for the Winter Programme and Winter Activity Packs. Most recently, we have finished packing 3000 of these activity packs ready for those most in need this festive season. And we look forward to welcoming our holiday participants back, with another round of face to face provision, once again supported by the HAF programme. We simply can’t wait!