The Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme was rolled out nationally in 2021 by the Department for Education (DfE). The primary aim of the programme is to deliver free holiday activities and food to school aged children from reception to year 11 (inclusive) who receive benefits-related free school meals (FSM).

Your Holiday Hub (YHH)

Your Holiday Hub (YHH) is the Bristol branding for the HAF programme. The Bristol approach for HAF is to support the city’s Belonging and Food Equality Strategies to enable children and young people to thrive. To do this we focus on supporting Bristol’s strong community, voluntary and play sector, to create a programme that is inclusive and fun. We support organisations that are embedded in local communities. These organisations understand the needs of the communities they serve and have strong relationships with children, parents, and carers. Working in this way we can help every child feel like they belong in Bristol.

To ensure we reach the children and young people that would benefit most from YHH, the funding is targeted into the top 20 highest free school meal percentage wards in the city. Our ambition is that by concentrating in these areas and working with unique, local provision, we offer a diverse programme which has something for everyone.

Our overall aim for the programme is to leave a legacy which benefits the communities where HAF takes place in. We do this by rolling out training in food education, safeguarding, policies and data gathering to funded organisations. We also ensure that our capital fund is used to provide equipment and resources that can outlast HAF and continue to provide value past 2025.

Our steering group

The YHH Steering Group is a key element of the Bristol HAF strategy. Members were invited to be part of the steering group based on their knowledge and experience in the focus areas of HAF.

Jo Ingleby: Director – Children’s Kitchen

Kirsty Wilson: Deputy CEO – Children’s Scrapstore, representing Playful Bristol & the Youth Work Alliance

Paul Dielhenn: CEO – Bristol Association of Neighbourhood Day care Ltd (BAND)

Ped Asgarian: Director – Feeding Bristol

Rachel Robinson: CEO – Learning Partnership West, representing Playful Bristol & the Youth Work Alliance

Susanna Salino: Business and Service Development Manager – Fareshare Southwest

Bristol City Council members:

Caroline Donald – Families in Focus Partnership Manager

Kathleen Manson – Senior Public Relations Officer

Olivia Procter-Moore – HAF Coordinator

Thomas Jarvis – Programme Manager and HAF Strategic Lead

The organisations represented in the YHH Steering Group

The Children’s Kitchen (TCK) is a city-wide Feeding Bristol and Bristol Early Years project which is focused on the areas of Bristol with the highest levels of food inequality. The project’s core work is around food education in nursery schools, early years settings, schools and children’s centres working with young children and their families. TCK encourages settings to embed food and growing into their core activities, focusing on fresh produce instead of traditional cake making, and building the confidence and skills of practitioners so that they can run the project themselves long term. TCK run hands-on food activities with HAF activity providers and create recipe and food education resources. TCK were awarded the South West Regional Champions for HAF by the DfE in 2023.

Feeding Bristol is a small charity with a big remit. Working across Bristol, they provide support to food organisations working for food justice, bring money and resources into the city to improve the local food system and work towards influencing change at a strategic level. They stand for a future where everyone has access to nutritious, affordable, and culturally appropriate food; is empowered with the skills and knowledge to eat healthily; and lives within a thriving and just local food system.

Playful Bristol and the Youth Work Alliance is a consortium of voluntary and community sector organisations working with children and young people. Together they advocate for children and young people’s play and create play opportunities for children and young people in Bristol. They do this by providing services or supporting parents/carers and ensure high-quality youth provision is available across the city for all children and young people.

FareShare Southwest (FSSW) forms part of the UK’s largest food charity, FareShare (FS). They are one of a network of 21 similar centres located across the country. FS are a community of independent franchised charities, all fighting the same issues: food waste and hunger. FSSW was formed to help tackle the food poverty issue in the south west by redistributing surplus food across the region. By using quality, in date surplus food which would otherwise have gone to waste, FS turn an environmental problem into a social solution.

The Bristol Association for Neighbourhood Daycare Ltd (BAND) is an independent charity established in 1978 to promote and support the development of accessible and high-quality childcare. BAND offer a comprehensive range of services to pre-schools, nurseries, breakfast and afterschool clubs, holiday play schemes and others providing complementary services to children, young people and their families.

2022 overview

In 2022, Bristol HAF funded 72 organisations to deliver activity over the easter, summer and winter holidays. Although the majority of the provision was targeted at those in receipt of benefits-related free school meals, we used the 15 per cent allocation to reach some of the most vulnerable children and young people in the city. We worked with specialist providers to deliver targeted activity for children with disabilities and collaborated with children’s social care to deliver meaningful sessions to build confidence in the kitchen for families and young people. Over the winter holiday, the programme delivered cooking sessions to Afghan refugee and asylum seekers, as well as delivering 1,900 remote activity packs and food hampers to support families with nutritious meals and engaging activities over an often difficult holiday period.

2022-2023 was a pivotal year for YHH. As the second year of HAF delivery, providers in the city used their experience to build momentum and host a wider range of activities with healthy and nutritious meals. The DfE visited our provider Unique Voice during summer delivery, to see their performing arts programme and an excellent example of trauma-informed practice. The YHH website was launched to provide a single point of reference for parents and carers looking to access funded places, as well as paid for activity over the holidays. 2022 also saw the successful shift towards meals being prepared within settings, supported through the roll-out of Food Leaders Training. More information about this training can be accessed here:

One of the most challenging but beneficial developments in 2022 was the improvement in data collection, which has now enabled the programme team to understand the reach of YHH more accurately across each holiday. This change in process created an additional workload for YHH providers but they rose to the challenge and now have a better understanding of their cohorts and how to increase their reach across the city.

Overall, 2022 saw excellent physical and enriching activity delivered in our top 20 highest need wards. Providers delivered food that was nutritious, exciting and culturally appropriate to thousands of children and young people. The learnings from 2022 created a strong starting point for the 2023 programme and beyond.

Spend breakdown

Administrative expenditure breakdown

Expenditure type (£)
HAF Strategic Lead – part-time £42,209.94
HAF Coordinator – full-time £52,224.00
YHH Steering Group £49,500.00
Internal support: Data Analyst, Project Support Officer, Finance & External communications


Total £171,498.50


Funding and overall spend breakdown

Expenditure type (£)
Administrative £171,498.50
Capital £31,182
Face to face delivery £1,446,948
Activity packs and food hampers (winter) £103,830.00
Training £17,406
Marketing and website development £4,116.00
Other: transport, e-voucher pilot £2,437.40
Total £1,777,417.63
Total funding awarded £1,803,840



Children and young people reached in 2022

At the start of HAF 2022, we began to develop the way in which we gathered data on the students attending YHH provision. This involved creating a system which providers could use and complimented their delivery, whilst also enabling us to better understand YHH attendance. This system rolled out for summer 2022 and is from when we can provide accurate information.

Breakdown of HAF funded children and young people by holiday

  Primary Secondary SEND primary SEND secondary Total by holiday
Summer 22 1976 410 1064 286 3736
Winter 22 (remote) 666 310 292 219 1487
Winter 22 (in-person) 945 438 437 400 2220


YHH sessions

The focus of all our YHH providers is to create an environment where children and young people can engage in sessions which enhance wellbeing, encourage learning and support development. In Bristol we pride ourselves on working with practitioners that understand the needs of their cohorts and can be flexible in their approach to suit differing needs.

Food and food education

Picture of two children wearing aprons, preparing a colourful salad of lettuce, carrots and radishes.

Square Food Foundation- Summer 2022

The heart of YHH is the food and food education our providers offer to children and young people. In 2022, the decision was made to work with providers to produce their own food onsite where possible, which fits with the food equality strategy set out in 2022. To do this, Bristol City Council partnered with Feeding Bristol, TCK and Fareshare Southwest, as well as offering tailored support to organisations who needed to register with environmental health.

“My boy absolutely loved going to this club, meeting new friends he wouldn’t have otherwise had the opportunity to. It is very important that he had a chance to continue to work on his social skills during the summer, and for him to keep very active which he did. He was very excited to bring home the food parcels, it felt like a bit of independence for him, to bring home an idea for a meal and all the ingredients. He felt very proud at the tea table when all of his family were eating the meal he had brought home! Thank you so much, and I really hope you can do this next summer!” – Parent, Oasis South, summer 2022

Moving away from the centralised food offer, which was in place in 2021 to ease the transition into HAF, we encouraged providers to start thinking about producing their own food. To do this we had three phase approach:

  1. Inspire providers: YHH funded TCK to run a food activity in each setting which could be easily replicated by providers. Children would be guided through an easy vegetarian recipe such as burritos, chilli, salads and pasties and where required, an adult would cook them. All the preparation can be done by the children and explore different flavours using TCK spice pots. Their easy-to-follow recipe booklets were included for families to take home with them.
  1. Train providers: As part of our HAF offer to providers we fund places on the Food Leaders course, “a 5-week programme up-skilling community leaders to be able to deliver practical cookery lessons, workshops or demonstrations encouraging cooking from scratch, saving money and reducing waste” (, 2021).
  1. Support providers: One-to-one tailored support is available year-round to all HAF providers, whether that be from Feeding Bristol or TCK to discuss how to deliver healthy food or the HAF project team and Bristol’s Environmental Health agency to ensure that providers can safely produce food at their venues. FSSW offer a holiday project service which enables organisations access to high-quality, reduced-cost food which is easy to collect.

A wonderful example of this strategy in action can be seen below:

“On the last day of playscheme, we invited parents/carers to join staff and children for tea. The children made quesadillas for themselves and their parents (Jo from Children’s Kitchen showed them how to make these previously, so we reinforced this lovely easy recipe) and we made a wonderful veggie chilli and rice. Many were surprised how tasty the chilli was with just vegetables and spices.

It was lovely to share a meal with parents/carers and also share out everything we had leftover from our Fareshare delivery. It was like our own little food bank, we told parents they were helping us out by taking some home as we couldn’t use it. Was such a lovely atmosphere and we really did feel like we were helping, albeit in a small way.

Parents brought in their younger children, who had the chance to play and bounce on the castle.

Oh and they took the chilli recipe home with them:)” – Zebras Out of School Club – summer 2022


Physical and enriching activity

6 children of primary age peering into a pond with interest. One child is pulling out some vegetation. The setting is a green area with trees in the background and water reeds in the foreground.

Fun4Families- Summer 2022

YHH offers a truly wide range of activities for children and young people to be involved with. Through funding unique and diverse organisations, we have seen activities ranging from swimming and archery to drama and music.

 “I would like to thank you for organising this brilliant group for local children to play and learn music. This group allows my son to learn new skills, music and writing his own music. It’s also helped him to spend time away from his 2 sisters as we live in a small flat with no room. If it wasn’t for this group running in the holidays, we would be stuck. Thank you Preludes.”- Parent, Preludes- Bristol Ensemble, Summer 2022

“Thank you all so much for all your hard work my kids had a brilliant time and without the club they wouldn’t have had the chance to take part in all the activities or go on any trips as I am unable to take time off from cleaning job. It stops me feeling so guilty that I’m doing other people’s cleaning so they can take their kids out and about and I can’t afford to.” – Parent- Hartcliffe club for young people

A group of kids posing for a picture The background is a colourful mural which depicts different types of weather.

Lawrence Weston and Shirehampton Out of School Activities – Summer 2022

We have multiple providers who focus on creative sessions as part of YHH. This can be in the form of art, crafting objects, making music, performing, or even welding in the case of Heart of BS13, the case study can be found below.

“In summer 2022, Heart of BS13, an organisation working to improve health and tackle food insecurity in south Bristol areas of Hartcliffe and Withywood, teamed up with artist collective Women Teaching Fabrication (WTF). They are a female founded and run creative metalwork studio in Bristol.

They invited eligible children and young people from Hartcliffe and Withywood between the age of 8 – 16 to help them create a scrap metal installation which would take pride of place at Hartcliffe farm.

Through the work of WTF, they encouraged a majority female team of participants to have a go at creating art from scrap. The group learnt and used many new skills during the sessions, which challenged gender stereotypes and gave the girls involved a sense of accomplishment and ownership, as they were encouraged to make their own ideas come to life for the community to enjoy for years to come.

Collectively they decided to call their creation Jade the Dragon.”

Dragon sculpture made of scrap metal. picture is focused on the eye of the dragon with the body in the background. The metal is rusted in places making it red and silver.

Jade the Dragon- Summer 2022

Physical activity plays a critical role in HAF and across the city young people can get involved with everything from water sports to fencing. However, in Bristol, team sports are some of the most popular sessions. YHH funds both Bristol football teams and in 2022 saw the African Caribbean Engagement (ACE) Cricket programme join YHH for the first time.

The ACE Programme was launched in response to the decline of the Black British professional players and was designed to engage young people of African and Caribbean heritage.

“ACE being able to partner with HAF has really allowed us to get the community active during the school break. In our delivery we provide multi- sports options, we try to cover as many sports as possible, each day we do 3 different sports alongside workshops. Our provision not only gets our community engaged and active, but it also gives the participants the opportunity to try new sports that they may not have done before, it allows them to work as a team across different sports” Theo Gordon – ACE Bristol Development Officer

Bristol City Robins Foundation is another example of how popular team sports are with the children and young people of Bristol. They run the largest sessions YHH offers, with up to 90 places available per venue, across four sites in some of our highest need wards.

A group of kids running towards the camera on a football field. The goal can be seen in the background.

Bristol Robins Foundation- Summer 2022

“Bristol City Robins Foundation deliver HAF funded holiday camps in easter, summer and winter. Across these holiday periods, we deliver in four venues across the City of Bristol – Hartcliffe, Knowle, Central and Hengrove. Each of the venues sees anywhere between 50 and 90 participants receive free football activities, and free food. We find the activities that we are able to put on through the funding invaluable to the communities we work in. All are areas of deprivation, with limited access to sporting activities at the best of times. We deliver fun, engaging activities for all abilities and interests, with alternatives offered for those who don’t like football. Through all of the sessions, relationship building is at the heart of the day, with staff ensuring they get to know the young people who attend. Through these relationships, the young people feel safe and supported, meaning they turn up multiple times throughout the holidays, and also attend other programmes outside of the school holidays. We have also been able to open up warm spaces, food pantries and day trips to further support families in the community. This funding is highly important to us, but most importantly to the community who genuinely need it during the current climate.” Chris Stenner-Chief Community Officer, Bristol City Robins Foundation

SEND provision

In 2022, YHH partnered with short breaks providers to offer specialist SEND provision during the holidays. This offer covered stay and play sessions and overnight camps and trips, all of which were tailored to individuals’ specific needs. Below are two case studies from specialist providers with feedback from parents and carers.

Khaas – Short Breaks Provider 2022

“A friend told me about Khaas, she said that they can help with all sorts of problems.  I am now in contact with other parents of disabled children.”- Parent Khaas 

“I came to England from Pakistan three years ago.  I have a disabled daughter.  I did not go out, I felt alone and depressed by myself.  I worried about money. I was introduced to Khaas via a friend, they referred me to their benefits advisor who helped me to apply for Disability Living Allowance for my daughter. I didn’t know I was entitled to this. This extra income has allowed me to spend a little bit more on some of the necessities that I need. ” – Parent Khaas

Khaas provides a range of services including recreation, respite and educational activities for Disabled children and their families from Black, Asian and minoritised communities. These are offered alongside support, information and advice. Khaas combines cultural competence in working with Black, Asian and minoritized communities through a workforce with the skills and knowledge to deliver services that meet the needs of the community they support.

Heswall Disabled Children’s Holiday Fund have been hosting free holidays for Disabled children since 1962. They provide opportunities for children that might not otherwise be available to them, and to provide respite to their families.

Heswall Camp for Disabled Children- Short Breaks Provider, Summer 2022

“Not only did I have the physical break from looking after him for the longest period since he was born but I also felt a lift knowing he was having fun with new friends, doing things he loves like swimming and bowling and trying out new things like grooming the donkeys. It’s rare in the world of disability to feel lucky but camp has made me feel that way. I could properly relax as I felt confident he was getting his meds administered correctly and being well cared for by people like Nic, James and Claire who made me feel at ease and really wanted to get to know X.” – Parent, Heswall Camp for Disabled Children

“X has been so excited to tell us some of the things he enjoyed and there are loads!! He is now eating pasta with sauce plus chicken curry and said he loves them!! We haven’t been able to get him to try these despite lots of attempts for years!!” – Parent, Heswall Camp for Disabled Children


As part of the HAF funding, local authorities are able to use up to 15 per cent of their funding to support other vulnerable children and young people who are not entitled to benefits-related free school meals. In 2022, YHH worked with several organisations to support children and young people experiencing a range of adversity across the city. Some examples of this work can be seen below.

One of the highlight visits of the summer was to attend the final performance from the young carers who had been working with Bath Philharmonic for four days to produce a set of four songs and visuals which were performed live at the Bristol Beacon in front of their family and friends. The four days were spent learning new skills and networking with other young carers in the city, which included a healthy lunch at every session. The Carers Support Centre works with young carers from across Bristol and South Gloucestershire to provide a network for children and young people who primary care givers.

Over the course of 2022, YHH worked with Bristol’s Early Intervention team, Families in Focus (FiF). The FiF team provides essential liaison for families dealing with challenging circumstances in Bristol. The team worked with their service users to provide hikes, fishing trips, cooking sessions and creative activities. Over the winter holiday, the FiF team delivered 200 food hampers which supplied families with their Christmas meal using locally sourced meat and vegetables.

Funded organisations 2022-2023

All Saints Family Cafe
A.P.E Project
Bristol Aerospace
African Caribbean Engagement
Ambition Lawrence Weston
Baby Rhino Limited
Back2Basics Forest School
Barton Hill Activity Club
Begbrook Primary Academy
Bizzy Kids Club
Branches Out CIC
Bristol Brunel Academy
Bristol City Robins Foundation
Bristol Horn Youth Concern
Bristol Metropolitan Academy
Bristol Rovers Community Trust
Bristol Somali youth voice
Bristol Sport Foundation
Carers Support Centre – Young Carers Service
CCS Adoption
Children’s Scrapstore
City Academy, part of the Cabot Learning Federation
Community of Purpose CIC
DET Entertainment and Chaysestar Entertainment CIC
East Bristol Children’s centre
Eastside Community Trust
Edu-Action Bristol
Extraordinary Links Activity Group
Families in Focus
Full Circle Youth Services
Fun 4 Families UK CIC
Grassroot Communities
Growing Futures UK
Hartcliffe And Withywood Community Partnership
Heart of BS13
Heswall Disabled Children’s Holiday Fund
Hillfields Family and Community Trust
Imayla CIC
Lawrence Weston and Shirehampton Out Of School Activities (LWOOSA and SOOSA)
Learning Partnership West
Munchkins Childcare Ltd.
Oasis Hub North Bristol
Oasis Hub South Bristol
Oldbury Court out of School Clubs
Premier Education
Redcatch Community Garden
SAND Out of School Club
Shine Community Project
Southmead Development Trust
Square Food Foundation
SS Great Britain
St Bonaventures Catholic Primary
St Luke’s Lunch
St Mary Redcliffe PCC
St Werburghs City Farm
Sunflower Collective
TALO community
The Family Centre (Deaf Children)
The Groundwork South Trust Limited
Unique Voice CIC
Wellspring Settlement
Wider World
Windmill Hill City Farm
Young Bristol
Youth Moves
Zebras Out of School Club