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Winter HAF

Astley Parish Council Winter HAF

Shropshire Council is working with local schools, voluntary and community organisations, and childcare providers to run an exciting holiday programme this winter - Shropshire HAF (Holiday Activities and Food). 

From 21 December 2023 to January 2024, eligible children and young people are invited to take part in a range of fun activities, happening at over 40 holiday clubs from across the county.

Watch the Winter HAF promo film to find out more:

What’s On Guide & Timetable of Clubs is available on the Shropshire HAF webpages Activities and events | Shropshire Council and attached.

Who can Access the HAF Programme?

Core Eligibility Criteria:

  • Children and young people aged 4 (in reception class or equivalent) to 16, who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals.
  • Ukrainian guests staying in Shropshire

These children and young people will receive a winter code and information about how to book onto a holiday club direct from their school.


Wider Eligibility Criteria:

  • Children and young people living in areas of high deprivation and/or from low-income households who are not in receipt of benefits related free school meals.

These children and young people can be referred onto the programme by a professional, by completing a referral form.

Paid Places

Many of the HAF programmes also include paid places for children and young people who don’t meet the eligibility criteria. These spaces are generally very heavily subsidised and have been highlighted in the What’s On Guide.

Benefits of HAF

The programme has huge benefits to children and young people and their families.

During the summer, over 2,840 HAF eligible children and young people attended holiday clubs, participating in sports, arts, cooking, forest schools and other exciting opportunities. They enjoyed the activities on offer, with 99% reporting they had lots of fun, as well as building confidence and learning new skills.

Children and young people who attended clubs became more socially connected with 99% of participants saying they enjoyed spending time with friends and 88% reporting making new friends during the holiday. 

Parents and carers also benefitted directly from HAF, in particular reporting reduced stress levels (70% of respondents), less need for childcare (75% of respondents) and didn’t need to worry about giving food (21% of respondents).

Over 12,700 free nutritious meals were provided at each session, as well as information about nutrition and healthy lifestyles to benefit the whole family.

94% of children and young people want to attend more holiday clubs in the future!


‘It reduces my stress levels trying to find childcare and finance it all whilst working and taking care of my elderly, sick parents. It is hugely beneficial to both myself as a single, working mum and to my son, affording him extra play time and new learning opportunities. It gives me peace of mind knowing he is in safe hands AND having fun whilst I am working. Thank you’. Parent.

“Thank you for a great holiday club, they had a lovely time. Their mental health has been a bit fragile since the pandemic and with the onset of hormones, which in her shows as often being quite sad. It’s been fantastic to see her coming home each day with a smile on her face. Thanks!” – Parent.

‘I love the taste test challenge, I have done it twice. It makes have a go at trying different foods’ – Participant.


To see all the fantastic activities children and young people got up to, over the holidays check out the Shropshire HAF Summer 2023 film!  

Full reports are available on the Shropshire HAF webpages

Sign up to the HAF e-news

Resources and HAF e-news sign-up | Shropshire Council: You will receive fantastic top tips, free resources, links to local services and opportunities.


More Information about HAF

Lots more information about the programme is available on the Shropshire HAF webpages Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF) | Shropshire Council



Shropshire HAF Co-Ordinators, Alexa Pugh and Sarah Morris