Published: 29 June 2022
The council will be providing Free School Meal (FSM) vouchers to all eligible children over the six-week school holiday. The funding will be distributed to eligible families in the form of supermarket vouchers and equates to £15 per child per week.
The council will also be supporting the summer HAF (Holiday Activity and Food) programme. This enables young people aged 4 to 16 on Free School Meals to take part in free activities run by local organisations across the borough. This includes physical activities, for example, cricket, basketball and swimming, creative activities such as music and drama and days out ranging from visiting an exhibition to getting out in nature. Each child who attends an activity will receive a free meal.
For the first time, the Council has made an additional £240k available to widen the HAF offer and reach even more young people in Westminster. This will enable young people aged 0 to 25 as well as those who fall just short of eligibility but are experiencing hardship to access the activities and food during the summer holidays for free.
The funding for activities and a free meal offer over the upcoming holiday will enable over 70 local organisations to deliver sessions for children and young people in Westminster including those with special educational needs and disabilities.
Councillor Tim Roca, Cabinet Member for Young People, Learning and Leisure said:
We know that the rising cost of living is hitting our residents hard, particularly families on low incomes.
We want to ensure that children in Westminster and their parents and carers feel supported and that is why we have increased our funding to the HAF programme this summer.
We urge parents, carers and young people in Westminster who are experiencing hardship to reach out for support.