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In Manchester, we recognise and understand that school holidays for some families can be a challenging time with the pressure of reduced incomes and increased costs such as food and childcare. This often impacts low income and disadvantaged families, and for some children and young people this create gaps in accessing organised out-of-school activities. This may result in ‘unhealthy holidays’ in terms of increased holiday hunger, limited access to nutritious and healthy meals alongside limited access to physical and fun activities. All of which contribute to the likelihood of experiencing social isolation. We also know that these issues have been further exasperated by the current COVID 19 pandemic.
In response to this, the Department of Education (DfE) has provided local authorities with Holiday Activity Funding (HAF) to develop a holiday activity and food programme during the Christmas holidays. This means the development of free holiday activity and food clubs will be our response to this issue, which we know can have a real positive impact on children and young people’s nutritional, physical and mental health. We also know they work best when they provide varied, fun, inclusive, accessible and healthy activities alongside the provision of nutritious food, learning and advice.
  1. Key information
  • - Funding is available for the Christmas holiday period, to support with the delivery of food activity projects for children and young people aged 5 to 16 years who are entitled to Free School Meals (FSM).
  • - Closing date of applications: Sunday 31st October 2021, 5pm.
  • - For voluntary and community sector organisations, including youth and play organisations sports clubs, schools and other educational establishments such as SEND, PRU’s and supplementary schools, and out of school provision, arts and culture organisations, and outdoor adventure and education organisations. We welcome applications from organisations above who want to work in partnership with each other.
  • - Organisations must be based in Manchester and / or are mainly working with Manchester’s residents.
  • - Funding is available for revenue – delivery and or equipment.
  • - There is no limit on the amount of funding that can be applied for.
  • - Funding is for Christmas holidays 2021
  • - We encourage partners & schools to work together to share delivery
  • - If you would like to discuss an alternative delivery model, please contact us at
  • - Minimum delivery timescales for Christmas are 4 hours per day x 4 days per week x 1 week. You can increase your delivery timescale output.
MCRactive will be directing the HAF programme for the upcoming Christmas holidays in Decemeber 2021.
If you are a provider looking to apply for finding during the activity period, please read the HAF 2021 Prospectus Application Guide and click here to fill in the Application Form.


A member from the MCRactive Neighbouhoods Team will pick this up and be in touch. 

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