Free Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) will support thousands of Portsmouth families who are struggling with the rising cost of living this summer.
Portsmouth City Council’s HAF Fun Pompey scheme will run throughout the summer holidays, from Monday 25 July to Friday 26 August. The programme is for children and young adults aged 5-16, with some family days for everyone to enjoy.
HAF Fun Pompey, which started in 2021, aims to encourage children to eat healthily and be active while not in school by attending different holiday clubs during the Easter, summer and Christmas breaks. This year, the programme is even more important for families due to the cost-of-living crisis.
This jam-packed summer, 17,000 spaces on the programme are funded by the council, so children eligible for free school meals can attend the events free of charge. There are also pay-as-you-go spaces to allow for all children in the city to benefit from the enriching programme. Each event is at least four hours long and will always include a nutritious meal, relieving childcare pressures for working parents over the summer weeks.
Cllr Suzy Horton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council, said: “I’m delighted that we’re working with a wide range of wonderful partners to deliver such an important programme.
“School holidays can be challenging for families managing increased costs and time away from work. HAF Fun Pompey will ease this pressure and provide children and young adults with exciting opportunities to discover new talents, find new dreams and most importantly, have fun!”
In addition to supporting families, HAF Fun Pompey is an initiative to help children thrive, not just survive. The scheme is full of activities to spark their fascination, ignite their talents and enrich their lives.
HAF has dedicated activities for 11–16 year-olds, offering a more grown-up range of activities such as climbing, coding workshops, introduction to sailing and other social activities. These activity days are a great way for young people to make new friendships whilst keeping active, entertained and connected during the holidays.
The council is working with 34 providers this summer, to ensure there is a wide range of activities suitable for every child, depending on their age, ability and interest.
To attend any of the HAF Fun Pompey activities and event sessions children must be booked on by their parents and carers. Bookings for the summer programme are now live. Spaces are limited, please book your place now to avoid disappointment.
For a full list or providers, details of how to book onto a session and to sign-up to the HAF Fun Pompey newsletter visit the HAF Fun website. If you’d like to speak to someone about the programme or have any questions please email HAF@portsmouthcc.gov.uk