Funding opportunity to support local holiday activities for children

BCP Council has been awarded funding of £1 million by the Department for Education (DfE) to deliver a programme of activities with local providers to children aged five to 16 in receipt of benefits-related free school meals during the school holidays.

The scheme was successfully trialed over the Easter Holidays when 3,382 activity and food places were funded across 15 different activity providers, reaching approximately 1,000 local children.

Following the success of the pilot scheme over Easter, BCP Council is now seeking a diverse range of food and activity providers for the scheme roll out over the summer.

The groups and activities that took place received great feedback from the children who took part, their families and activities providers. Easter holiday activities included: mountain biking, dance classes, trips out to the beach, den making, archery, football, yoga, gardening, tag rugby, dodgeball, arts and crafts, circus skills and more.

Councillor Mike White, Portfolio holder for Children and Young people at BCP Council said:

“School holidays can be difficult for many families with increased costs for food and childcare, particularly this year with the impact of COVID-19 on family resources. We all want our children to return to school physically and mentally ready for the term ahead and it is important for children and young people to engage in activities, keep healthy and stay connected.

“We are pleased to have secured funding and look forward to working with local providers to be able to address this issue and provide consistent and easily accessible sessions that include activities and a meal for local children to enjoy and help support families.”

We want to hear from you if you provide:

  • holiday activities in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area and would like funding to support free places for children on free school meals
  • food which meets the school food standards
  • nutritional education to children and families

Visit to find out more and complete our grant application form if you would like to take part.

The deadline for grant applications is midday Wednesday 9 June.

Details of opportunities available to families in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole will be published towards the end of June in our Family Information Newsletter, sign up here

More information on the Holiday activities and food programme (HAF) can be found online here


As part of BCP Council's Big Plan, we are committed to developing our vibrant communities, with an outstanding quality of life, where everyone plays an active role. This means clean, safe and affordable housing, the wellbeing of all age groups, from our youngest to our oldest.