Families who are eligible for free school meals (FSM) are being offered extra support over the six-week school summer holiday period.
Bristol City Council is working with partners across the city offering a programme of support for families this summer, including access to free holiday activities and FSM vouchers.
Families who currently receive benefit-related FSM will be given £15 vouchers per week per eligible child (£90 in total) to cover the whole six-week summer holiday period. Vouchers can be used at supermarkets including Aldi, Tesco and Sainsburys.
Vouchers are being distributed via childminders, early years settings, schools, academies, and further education establishments, not Bristol City Council.
Families who receive benefits-related FSM are also eligible for the Your Holiday Hub (YHH) summer activity programme. Over 80 organisations and providers in Bristol have already received funding to deliver over 1,500 sessions across the city.
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol said: “We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on Bristol’s children and young people. School closures, isolation and separation from family members and friends has disproportionally affected our city’s most vulnerable children and young people.
“Our programme of support, which includes covering the six week summer break with FSM vouchers and the Your Holiday Hub programme, is an opportunity to help families rebuild our children and young people’s confidence and social skills through play, sport, adventure, and friendship.”
YHH activities, including sport, drama, and cookery, will be taking place in schools, community centres and open spaces across this city this summer. The programme is free for those children taking part and includes a nutritious meal.
Councillor Helen Godwin, Cabinet Lead for Families, Education and Women said: “The summer holiday period can be a challenging time for all families, which is why we have put together this programme to help those who really need it. We have also put together a resource for all the activities that are taking place across the city for all Bristol families to use.”
Summer holiday activities for all families can be found here: Synergy - Enquiry (servelec-synergy.com)
Dan White CEO of the Robins foundation, one of the largest YHH providers said: “We are delighted to partner with the Bristol City Council on the YHH programme. We know first-hand the impact COVID-19 has had on young people, in particular those who live in areas of deprivation.
“Being able to provide free food and activities for them over the summer holiday period will channel their energy into positive activity and support their families with meals that they would normal rely on the schools for.”
The YHH programme is funded by the Department for Education (DfE) through the Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) grant. Local Authorities in England have been allocated funding based on the number of FSM students in their local area.
Bristol City Council is working closely with the Bristol Association of Neighbourhood Day-care, Playful Bristol, Feeding Bristol and Fareshare to coordinate the YHH summer 2021 programme of fun and engaging activities for children and young people in Bristol.
For more information visit the Bristol City Council website Find a holiday activity in your area - bristol.gov.uk