Skip navigation
Facebook Twitter Flickr Youtube
Access Unlimited Show the Access Unlimited Menu

Creating fun opportunities
for children and young people
with additional needs and disabilities.

Join us and don't miss out

Are you a Provider or Professional? Register below

Search for an Activity

SEND Activity Providers Holiday Activity & Food (HAF) Programme

Published: 15th November 2021

We know that school holidays can be particular pressure points for some families because of increased costs (such as food and childcare) and reduced incomes. Children from disadvantaged families are less likely to access organised out-of-school activities; more likely to experience ‘unhealthy holidays’ in terms of nutrition and physical health; and more likely to experience social isolation.  

Evidence suggests that the provision of free holiday clubs can have a positive impact on children and young people, working best when they provide consistent and easily accessible enrichment activities, and when they involve children (and parents) in food preparation.  The Government is making £220m of funding available to local authorities across the country to tackle this issue. 

Some of you will have been involved in the HAF programme in the summers of 2019 & 2020. Our goal over the next year is to work with providers to develop the scheme across the Summer, Christmas and Easter holidays to provide safe, fun and enriching holiday activities for children in Suffolk, and we want to offer your organisation the opportunity to be involved in this exciting expansion. 

Requirements for Accessing HAF funding

  1. To qualify to receive HAF funding you must provide at least one meal a day (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) alongside your activity. All food provided at the club (including snacks) must meet the School Food Standards. (Please note: if you would be unable to meet this requirement as you provide services for children with SEND who have specific nutrition/feeding requirements then we would encourage you to contact us so that we can talk with you about potential ways to address this.)  
  1. You should include an element of nutritional education each day. This does not need to be formal learning; it could for example be advising children about healthy eating as part of activities (eg. a sports activity might include a coach explaining the importance of good nutrition on sporting performance).  
  2. Your provision must provide fun and enriching activities for the duration of the session, and physical activities which meet the Physical Activity Guidelines should be incorporated where possible. For provisions that are not a sporting holiday club, you should aim to include at least an hour of physical activity each day.   
  3. You must have appropriate policies and procedures in place in relation to Safeguarding, Health and Safety, Insurance, Accessibility and Inclusiveness, and Adherence to COVID-19 Government guidance, and be able to demonstrate / explain these on request. 


Activity Provision for Children with SEND 

We recognise that many children with SEND are eligible for support through the HAF but that some mainstream activities would be inaccessible for them.  Activities Unlimited are therefore working in partnership with HAF to develop inclusive provision and to ensure eligible families are able to access suitable provision in their area.  

This fund offers a great opportunity for SEND short break providers to support more children and grow their provision.  Funding is flexible – it can be used to support eligible individuals who already attend your group, fund additional capacity in your existing groups or fund services that are exclusive to HAF-eligible users. It can also be used to open your service to siblings/young carers who are eligible for support through the programme. 

To support these varied options, we are offering one off grants for SEND-related and inclusive provision.  Applications deadline - Tuesday 30th November.  Proposals will be considered by a panel, with successful organisations notified accordingly. 

How to Apply

There are three routes to receiving support through the Holiday Activity Fund. If you are interested in delivering holiday activities to children and young people with SEND using HAF funding, please refer to the guidance below, which will help you decide the most appropriate application route:   

1: To complement existing AU Funded provision:  

You can use the HAF to fund fees for eligible service users. For AU providers, this means that individual spaces within your existing AU delivery plan can be used to support HAF users. You need to complete the AU/HAF Proposal Form (Short Version) in order to access this financial support.  

2: To build capacity in an AU funded service:   

If you would like to offer additional places to those detailed within your AU Delivery Plan via HAF funding, then you also need to complete the AU/HAF Proposal Form (Short Version).  As we already have an understanding of the service you are delivering, you only need to provide a brief outline.  Please include within your application how these additional places will impact the existing planned service and how your service meets the outcomes sought by the HAF.  

3: To develop a service exclusively through HAF funding, or add capacity to an existing service that is not AU funded:   

If you are proposing to set up a service exclusively for HAF users or wish to use this funding to compliment/add capacity to an existing service that is not currently funded through AU, then you need to complete the HAF Proposal Form (Full version).  Please remember to refer to the HAF guidance document when completing your proposal.    

Additional links you may find useful 

Homepage - School Food Plan 
School food standards - School Food Plan
Food Standards Agency   
Allergen guidance for food businesses | Food Standards Agency     
NHS Change4Life
NHS Eat Well 
NHS Physical activity guidelines for children and young people
NICE Physical activity for children and young people Public Health Guidelines

If you would like to discuss your proposal prior to application, please do contact the AU Provider Team at, otherwise we hope to hear from you in due course.

Kind regards,

The AU Provider Team

Chris Southwell:   
Tel: 01473 260152 or 07802869536 

Jackie Markell: 
Tel: 01473 260161 or 07749386258 (Mon, Tue, Wed 8-1)