“Good nutrition is essential for the mental and physical development of children. However, childhood undernutrition and overnutrition remain major challenges in the UK.”
(NNEdPro Global Institute for Food, Nutrition & Health, 2021).
The evidence that eating well significantly affects a child’s ability to fully benefit from learning opportunities is clear. It’s why so many school breakfast programmes were introduced. However, food poverty in the UK is set to increase significantly in the coming months.
That creates more pressure on schools to take a holistic approach and find new initiatives outside the classroom.
Fortunately, there are two things that help you to fulfil this priority – seamlessly and successfully:
(1) The availability of funding under the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme
(2) Responsive outsourcing support available from The Little Foxes Club.
In the summer of 2022, Little Foxes Club launched HAF initiatives for Redbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham and Ealing local authorities.
In July and August, 2000 hot meals were provided to children in those areas who were considered at risk of food poverty. For a total of 462 hours in the school holidays, those pupils also had access to fun sports activities and social engagement opportunities.
This enabled the schools involved to reach 104.83% of their commitment in terms of places offered under HAF funding.
These were activities that built more than fitness and improved food quality awareness. They also engendered team spirit, confidence, a sense of self-worth and an understanding of why good choices bring good feelings!
Do you need help delivering similar success?
What else do you need to know about HAF?
Much of our support for HAF this summer involved working with schools in and around London. We hope in the coming months MORE schools, in a wider geographic area, will use our services to deliver the HAF programme.
A quick reminder of what that involves:
- The HAF initiative was developed in 2021, and in early 2022 received a further £200million plus of funding.
- This was to ensure it could be offered to every local authority in England, and delivered over three years.
- It is aimed at children on free school meals, at increased risk of poor nutrition, and social and leisure disenfranchisement.
- It supports school holiday initiatives that focus on ‘enrichment’, including fun fitness activities, and the provision of meals, but also chances to learn about good nutrition and food-prep principles.
- HAF funding can be used for unique, bespoke activities, or to enhance existing school holiday schemes to include more ‘at risk’ children.
Would you like help in developing or expanding a HAF-funded project? By all means, use our experience and free advice. We would love to chat with you, to explore ways we can meet your delivery needs, and project aims!
Planning ahead for Christmas and Easter holidays
The Little Foxes Club and the schools we already work with on HAF-funded initiatives are already excited to be planning holiday activities and food initiatives for the rest of this academic year – and beyond.
Local authorities in England are being encouraged to offer at least 4 days of HAF provision during Christmas and Easter breaks. However, over the Christmas holidays, two of those days can be indirect, using hampers and home-activity packs.
Next summer, schools are tasked with setting up four weeks of in-person HAF provision, covering a minimum of 16 days.
There’s more information on the aims and delivery mechanisms on the HAF website.
Other ways The Little Foxes Club can help YOUR school
Keep in mind that support to engage with the HAF programme is not the only outsourcing opportunity we provide, for increasing numbers of forward-looking schools. We offer other diverse, flexible activities to help you to meet curriculum demands, or widen the sporting provision you offer before and after school hours, or during lunch times.
Many of our extracurricular sports activities for schools involve our caring and well-organised team contacting parents and dealing with all booking and payment tasks. Leaving schools with little to do beyond partnering with us in the first place!
All our customised partnerships with schools involve providing students with ways to:
- Become more active, engaged, and health aware.
- Gain empowerment skills such as communication and team-working.
- Grow in confidence and self-esteem.
- Experiment with different sports genres, in a safe, inclusive environment.
Please contact Little Foxes Club for chat about HAF provision or other sports activities at your school.