Helping hand for families at Christmas

Struggling families are families are being supported this Christmas, with free school holiday activities, food vouchers and wider help.

Buckinghamshire Council aims to help bring some Christmas sparkle to people finding it difficult to cope financially at this time of year.

The popular Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme is running a wide range of activities for children of all ages and interests. They include tours of Premier League football stadiums, trips to London, sports, crafts, cookery and dance activities, running throughout the school holidays.

Funded by the Department for Education and co-ordinated by the council, thousands of places are available for children in receipt of benefits-related, free school meals to take part in activities. At each session the children are also provided with a free hot meal.

Anita Cranmer, cabinet member for children’s services and education, said: ‘Once again we have a fantastic range of fun and interesting activities available for children and young people to enjoy. Places do get booked up quickly, however, so don’t delay, make sure you book as soon as possible.’

In addition to the activities and food programme, digital food vouchers are being provided to eligible families.

Arif Hussain, cabinet member for communities said: ‘We know that there are extra financial pressures at this time of year and so we are continuing to offer support, via our Helping Hand service, to those who need it, including those not eligible for other forms of school holiday support. Please get in touch if you need help.’

Contact the Helping Hand service on the website: or phone 01296 531151.

There is also a range of free and low-cost school holiday activities on the council website: