Edsential set to spread festive cheer to thousands of children across Cheshire West and Chester.

9 December 2021

The Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) Programme, co-ordinated by Edsential on behalf of Cheshire West and Chester Council, is set to support over 3,400 children and their families with free festive activities and food this winter.  

Across West Cheshire, children in receipt of free school meals will be ending the year on a high with a choice of over 30 free activity clubs, offering social and memorable activities such as; den building, Santa’s grottos, days out, winter wonderlands and much more! The 21 hand-picked providers, who are all passionate about supporting children, will make west Cheshire a playground for young people and their families. They will create long lasting memories whilst enjoying delicious, festive meals - making it a winter young people will never forget. 

Thanks to the Department for Education, funding has been made available for the first time to organise holiday activity fun during the winter holidays. Across the borough this year, Edsential’s HAF programme has already supported over 7,700 children and their families. These vital clubs help to bring the local community together and provide for families who need it most. One parent who benefited from Edsential’s HAF summer programme said:

“It has given my daughter a lot more confidence and has also taught her how to be more responsible. She now walks home with her friends from school making her more streetwise. She has also become more active, meaning she isn’t sat in the house watching tv bored.”
Edsential and Cheshire West and Chester Council have worked together to make this year's winter holiday activity programme one to remember. Bethan Cooper, Holiday Activity Fund Manager at Edsential, said:  

“We are so pleased that we have so many community providers wanting to support children and young people across the borough this winter. Our providers have really pulled out all the stops to ensure an array of never-before-seen HAF activities that will certainly give children and young people a memorable experience and seasonal cheer.”

This winter, Edsential’s Holiday Activity and Food Programme aims to reach over 3,400 young people and their families in the community.     
Cheshire West and Chester Councillor Robert Cernik, Cabinet Member for Children and Families said:

“The holiday activity clubs that are funded through the HAF scheme ensure that children and young people have the opportunity to enjoy and learn new skills over the school holidays, whilst making new friends and most importantly having fun. We are delighted that children will be able to take part in these festive activities in the winter holidays, for the first time."

"Providing healthy and tasty meals for children and young people is really important for their wellbeing and development. In addition, those attending the sessions get the opportunity to learn about food and nutrition in a fun, active and festive way, setting them up for a healthy future so they can achieve their best.”

A full list of the winter holiday activity clubs across West Cheshire can be found at: www.edsential.com/holidayactivityfund2021

Other provision for children and young people during the winter holidays includes the Youth zones, operated by the Council’s Youth Service, which will be providing eligible children and young people across the borough with a Christmas themed offer. Four settings across Chester, Ellesmere Port and Northwich have been funded to deliver SEND specific HAF sessions and Brio Leisure will also be offering swim and badminton sessions across four of their sites.

For further information, visit: www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/schoolholidaysupport.

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