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Holiday Activity Fund in manchester

In Manchester, we recognise that school holidays for some families can be a challenging time. The pressure of reduced incomes and increased costs such as food and childcare can feel hard during these times, and for some children and young people this creates gaps in accessing organised holiday activity.

This can result in ‘unhealthy holidays’ - increased holiday hunger, limited access to nutritious and healthy meals alongside limited access to physical and fun activities. All of which can contribute to the likelihood of experiencing social isolation. Sadly, these issues have also been further exasperated by the Covid-19 pandemic.  

In response to this, the Department of Education (DfE) has provided local authorities with Holiday Activity Funding (HAF) to develop a free activity and food programme during the holidays. This means we are able to work with clubs and organisations across the city to develop a food and activity programme to respond to the above, which we know will make a positive impact on the children and young people of Manchester.  
Please take a look at the drop down tabs below for information concerning the Holiday Activity Fund application process.

Important Holiday Activity Fund Information

The Holiday Activities and Food programme (HAF) recognises that school holidays can be a challenging time for families due to the increasing cost of living.

To help deal with this issue, funding is available for Easter, Summer and Christmas holiday periods, to support with the delivery of food and activity projects for children and young people aged 5 to 16 years who are entitled to Benefit Related Free School Meals (FSM).
HAF 2024 applications are now closed
If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on

As part of the application process you MUST sign up and complete the MCRactive Providers Portal. The Providers Portal is designed to ensure all providers we fund / commission are operating to minimum operating standards. Please see the downloadable step by step guide on how to complete the portal journey.

Providers are required to upload the necessary Quality Assurance documentation to the MCRactive Providers Portal. A full breakdown of the requirements are listed below:

Organisation Documents
- Safeguarding Policy
- Reporting Concerns
- Public Liability Insurance (£10 million minimum)

Deliverer Details (Everyone who is working / supporting with the delivery of your HAF programme will need to be uploaded onto the portal)
- Name
- DBS Number
- Safeguarding Qualification
- First Aid Qualification
- Qualification or Training  (where applicable)#

To log in or sign-up to the MCRactive Providers Portal, visit here.

 If you have any questions please contact

From Summer 2021 - Summer 2022, MCRactive and Manchester City Council offered thousands of FREE places to children eligible for benefit related free school meals and those with no recourse to public funds; to access a variety of activities over the school holiday periods. Activities range from Sport and Physical Activities, Arts and Crafts and sometimes can include a variety of Day Trips. 
Our work with holiday activity has gone from strength to strength over the past year, with a focus on providing support for children and families eligible for free school meals, with funding secured from the Department for Education; allowing us to deliver enriching and inclusive activities alongside a health

Read all about the work we've done over the past year here!

 If you are a parent or carer wishing to book a child onto holiday activity, visit this page for more information

Alternatively view our activity finder below or search here to discover free holiday activities near you