The Holiday, Activity and Food Programme continues its valuable Easter Unlocked offer in Wandsworth

Wandsworth not for profit Enable helped bring exciting activities and workshops to the Henry Prince Estate during the Easter Holidays. Enable delivered the programme which was funded by DfE (Dept. for Education) and coordinated by Wandsworth Council as part of the local HAF – the Holiday, Activity and Food programme. HAF is an initiative from Central Government which provides free holiday provision including healthy hot meals and enriching activities for young people. Named Easter Unlocked 2022 in Wandsworth, it saw Wandsworth Council partner with local providers, youth clubs and other venues around the borough.

Research has shown that school holidays can be pressure points for families receiving benefits and for children who experience food poverty particularly at these times, holidays can also mean a holiday experience gap, with children from low-income households being; less likely to access organised out-of-school activities, more likely to experience ‘unhealthy holidays’ in terms of nutrition and physical health and more likely to experience social isolation.

Easter Unlocked, for young people aged 4 – 19 and in receipt of free school meals took place during the Easter holiday on the Henry Prince Estate and included a range of enriching activities such as film making workshops, multi-sports sessions, art classes and a trip to Wimbledon Park Watersports Centre. These valuable endeavours provided local young people with an opportunity to develop brand new skills as well as encounter new experiences with their peers during the school break. The HAF programme means that Enable, can support children and their families throughout the school holidays when access to activities and meals may become challenging, helping Wandsworth youth and their families to overcome these barriers. Evidence shows that free holiday clubs can have a hugely positive impact on children, and that they work best when they are consistent and accessible, involve a hot meal and utilise local partnerships and connections.

This exciting week saw Easter Unlocked partner with Kimber Road Skate Park who delivered Skateboarding sessions on the estate to a group of young people who learnt how to ride a skateboard as well as hone the skills needed to go up and down ramps.

Chocolate Films delivered a 2-day Film-making workshop to create a short film about healthy lifestyles in which the young people were cast and crew. They learnt valuable skills in scriptwriting, storyboarding, directing, camera and sound skills and worked with a professional crew.

Enable was thrilled to be a part of this important programme that allows young people to stay active during the school holidays, take part in engaging and enriching activities which support the development of resilience, character and wellbeing plus be safe and not socially isolated and have a greater knowledge of health and nutrition.

We are very grateful to Caribburton Caterers who provided the free hot meals, snacks, fruits and refreshments throughout the duration of the programme.

We were also able to provide young people with a ‘goodie bag’ of food to take home at the end of the week. Putney School of Art & Design – delivered a 2-hour session where young people learnt how to draw a range of original and different characters giving them an individual look, personality, and style. Wimbledon Park Watersports Centre arranged for a group of young people to spend the afternoon at a memorable kayaking session. For majority of the group,  this was their first time being on a boat and for some, being in a body of water. “That was actually so good. I was so scared but happy I did it!” said one young person on Kayaking.

“It’s been a great week, organised and a good range of activities” – Enable Coach Mark.

“Thank you so much, [she] loves art and has enjoyed herself today” – Elena, Parent of young person.

Funding for the HAF programme went live 9th May and the closing date for providers is 27th May for Summer Unlocked 2022. Parents and carers can find information and updates on the Family Information Service– look out for Summer Unlocked. Families whose children receive free school meals, can book places for their children with a provider of their choice.

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