A range of free holiday clubs are available for eligible families in the Mansfield area this summer.
Mansfield District Council is working with local schools, voluntary and community organisations, and childcare providers to launch the government’s expanded £220 million Holiday Activities and Food programme in the local area. The amount of funding awarded to Mansfield district was £111,600.
The programme, which is supported by England footballer Marcus Rashford MBE, is targeted at children and young people who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals.
Between 2 August and 27 August, there will be a range of activity clubs available across the district.
Mansfield Cultural Services - Mansfield Museum and Mansfield Palace Theatre - will be holding activities including drama, dance, music and creative writing sessions for children aged 5-16 at South Mansfield Community Centre.
Mansfield Town Football in the Community is holding free football sessions at St Peter's Church of England Primary Academy. The Stags also have a number of limited free places on football camps at the One Call Stadium.
There will be multi-sports sessions at Oak Tree Leisure Centre and River Maun Recreation Centre for those aged 5-12.
Mansfield Play Forum is offering sessions at Crescent Primary School and there will be sports activities for ages 8-16 at Ladybrook Community Centre, thanks to Express Coaching Services.
Vibrant Warsop will be delivering holiday provision from the Shed and the Lifespring Church, working with Warsop Youth Centre, Hetts Lane Holiday Club and Holiday Craft.
Deputy Mayor Cllr Craig Whitby said: "These holiday clubs provide a fantastic opportunity for children to try different activities, learn new skills, make friends and enjoy healthy food.
"They will support those most affected by the pandemic and enable families to have a memorable summer for all the right reasons rather than struggling financially or with childcare. Places are limited so make sure you apply as soon as possible."
Children and Families Minister Vicky Ford said: “Our pioneering Holiday Activities and Food programme has been expanded nationwide this year for the first time, so it will benefit many more children than ever before.
"This year, especially, I want children to make the most of their school holidays, so I’m thrilled that there is so much support and enthusiasm for the programme. This significant expansion across the country and to every local authority will support even more children over the holidays with healthy meals, fun activities, and learning opportunities.”
Andrew Forsey, Chair of the HAF Alliance said: “The importance of an enriching holiday experience for all children cannot be underestimated.
"There is evidence that the best HAF programmes benefit children, parents and communities by enabling children to learn new skills, socialise with friends, and enjoy nutritious food in a safe environment, while supporting their return to school and alleviating parental stress. The HAF Alliance is sharing its expertise and best practice with local authorities to help them to develop and deliver excellent holiday programmes for their local communities.”
Parents and carers who think their children and young people might benefit from free holiday clubs should visit the council's HAF 2021 webpage to check eligibility and apply.
If you cannot access the HAF programme face to face due to shielding, difficulties with transport, or other reasons, there is the opportunity to sign up for 'HAF at Home'. Register by Friday 23 July.