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NewsOctober half term fun rolled out by Manchester Council

October half term fun rolled out by Manchester Council

School holidays can be a tough time for families struggling to buy food in the city.

But Manchester Council has launched an initiative for the October half-term to ensure that every child is adequately nourished even though school is not in session.

Kids will be offered a variety of enjoyable activities as well as nutritious meals.

The council has allocated additional funds beyond the government’s provision for support outside of term time.

Engaging activities

From engaging in sports activities to exploring creative arts and crafts, an array of cost-free options will be available to children aged 5 to 15 who receive free school meals. These activities are made possible through the joint efforts of the Council and MCRactive.

This effort follows the success of the Summer 2023 Holiday and Food (HAF) program, which catered to more than 15,000 children in over 3,000 sessions.

Notably, 94% of these participants received free school meals during regular terms. Compared to the previous year, the engagement during the summer holiday program increased by 20%, with a staggering 97,222 individual visits.

Furthermore, the 2023 summer holiday initiative extended its support to 971 children with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND), enabling them to participate in enjoyable holiday activities at no cost.

Additionally, starting from October 31, the city’s libraries will welcome those in need, offering a warm sanctuary and complimentary hot beverages throughout the chilly months. The success of last year’s warm banks, which distributed over 25,000 hot drinks during the four-month period, underscores the significance of this supportive program.

More support

Councillor Garry Bridges, said: “Providing an additional net of support for young people in Manchester during the autumn is an incredibly important piece of work we do.

“We know that through the school year the balanced and healthy meals that children get in schools are vital, and that their absence during breaks in the term can be keenly felt.

“Building on our successes from 2022 we now have more than 100 HAF providers working throughout the year to provide the same excellent level of support and care, as well as helping children make some amazing memories with their friends.”

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