Your Labour-led council has announced an additional £200m funding per year, over the next three years, for the Birmingham Holiday Activities and Food programme, which will provide free holiday activities and healthy meals to 32,000 disadvantaged children across the city. The programme, which is the largest in England, will support 85 schools across Birmingham, including six in the Birmingham: Edgbaston constituency will engage with children and families most in need of support over the summer holidays.
Birmingham City Council’s approach to the summer holiday will tackle social isolation, holiday hunger, inactivity and learning lost as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Conservative Government were forced into a highly embarrassing U-Turn, last year, on Free School Meals after England and Manchester United striker, Marcus Rashford MBE, wrote to MPs calling on them to reverse the Government’s decision. Two Birmingham Conservative MPs, including Gary Sandbrook (Birmingham: Northfield) and Andrew Mitchell (Sutton Coldfield) voted against a proposal to extend Free School Meals over the summer holiday.
Preet Kaur Gill, MP for Birmingham: Edgbaston, who voted in favour of the proposal to feed 14 million school children across the UK, visited the programme in August and said:
“It's fantastic to see that following a successful Summer programme, this will be in place for future years to come. We need great programmes like this to build relationships with young people. Currently, too few interventions exist that engage with young people, including those who are excluded from school need more support. I look forward to seeing and being part of future collaborations.”
Cllr Jayne Francis, Cabinet member for Education, Skills and Culture said:
“The success of the summer has really illustrated the ability of the city to come together around a common issue, working as one to address the disadvantage faced by so many parents and families during holiday periods. The work behind the scenes and the effort of every holiday club provider is recognised and appreciated. The smiles on the faces of every child tells the story of the opportunity to access activities and experiences which they would not have had without the programme”
Last year’s Holiday Activities and Food programme delivered:
278 holiday clubs through 243 providers
32,240 places for children and young people
172,559 individual attendances across the programme
Latest figures show that 60% of children attending the Holiday Activities and Food programme were eligible for Free School Meals and 79% of children that attended the programme live in a deprived community. The programme was led by 477 holiday club leaders and volunteers across the city.
If you are, or know, an organisation that can help to deliver activities for the Holiday Activities and Food Programme, please find out more here
Preet joined Teamworks Karting, which supported 3,500 children over the Summer Holiday in 2021