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Support for vulnerable families over the upcoming Winter school holiday

Child in Christmas jumper splashing in puddle

Published: 6 December 2021

Westminster City Council will provide support to vulnerable families over the upcoming Winter school holiday including:

  • The provision of free school meal vouchers
  • Ongoing funding for food pantries enabling families access to healthy and nutritious food
  • Activities and events for children and young people across Westminster
  • Support from our Family Hubs

Westminster City Council will continue to utilise its allocated funding from the Household Support Fund to provide free school meal vouchers for all eligible children in the borough over the two-week Winter school holiday. This will ensure that over 7,000 children in Westminster receive £36 each to be able to access healthy and nutritious food over the school holidays and relieve pressure on low-income families.

The council will also continue to provide funding for two food pantries, which are open throughout the year, located in the North of the borough at Westbourne Park Family Centre and in the South of the borough at the Abbey Centre.  A variety of affordable, healthy and nutritious food options are available at the pantries for families in need.

Like over the Summer holiday, this upcoming Winter holiday, the council will be putting on a wide-range of free recreational activities for children and young people to take part in. This includes a four-day programme run by the council’s City Lions team visiting well-known sites in Westminster such as the Tower of London and London Zoo, activities across the city from drama to boxing and many engaging opportunities tailored to children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

As always, Westminster’s family hubs are on hand throughout the year to provide support for all parents, carers and their children, and young people up to the age of 19 (or to 25 for those with SEND). The Hubs offer a holistic range of services and support, bringing professionals including health visitors, school nurses and social workers together with activities including drop-in play, baby classes, parents’ groups and guidance from Citizens Advice Bureau.

Councillor Timothy Barnes, Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Libraries at Westminster City Council said:

We know that many families need extra support when schools are closed during the holidays and the council is here to help.

I’m really pleased that during this upcoming Winter break, we are once again able to provide free school meal vouchers to all eligible children.

I hope also that families in need take advantage of our food pantries, coordinated by friendly and welcoming volunteers, our excellent family hubs and that many children and young people enjoy all the great activities on offer across the city.

I wish all children and young people in Westminster a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic break before starting the new year energised and refreshed.

Winter holiday support including how to access food at the pantries and all the recreational activities on offer

More information on free school meals

More information on Family Hubs