Hard pressed families in Nottingham are set to benefit from extra support this Summer, as Nottingham City Council secures a double whammy of funding for two support schemes.
A total of £1.3 million is being made available to provide supermarket e-vouchers of £15 a week over the Summer holidays. These will go to each child eligible for Free School Meals (FSM).
Nottingham has 14,700 pupils eligible for Free School Meals and these digital vouchers will be distributed to parents by their school. Vouchers will also be available for qualifying younger children in pre-school settings and older children in Further Education settings.
The voucher funding comes from the Government’s COVID Local Support Grant, which has now been extended until 30 September 2021, so it finishes the same time as furlough and other COVID-related support. It’s hoped that this will help families to get back on their feet as the economy recovers and the vaccine rollout continues.
Holiday Activity Clubs
In addition to supermarket e-vouchers, Nottingham City Council has also secured £1.8m from the Government’s Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme. This funding will be used to provide Holiday Activity Clubs to pupils who are eligible for Free School Meals this Summer.
At the Holiday Clubs, FSM pupils will receive a free lunch, alongside a programme of activities focused on healthy eating, fitness and mental health.
The Holiday Activity Clubs will be delivered by Nottingham’s community groups, charities and schools in communities across the city. Parents can book places by visiting www.asklion.co.uk/funandfood to see the list of Holiday Activity Clubs and the contact details of the groups organising these and taking bookings for places.
There are a limited number of places available for children who aren’t eligible for Free School Meals and these will be allocated on a first come first service basis.
Cllr David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “The funding for supermarket e-vouchers and Holiday Activity Clubs will be a real lifeline for struggling families in Nottingham. We are committed to making sure no child goes hungry in Nottingham this Summer, especially as families are still facing the impacts of the pandemic. We hope this support we offer will ease the strain on our most vulnerable families and help children through these difficult times.”
Councillor Eunice Campbell-Clark, Portfolio Holder for Schools, said: “The pandemic has been a testing time for us all, especially for those facing financial pressures, so I am pleased we have been able to help so many families so far and we can continue to support them with the cost of food during the Summer holidays.
“We know that some children won’t benefit from expensive holidays this Summer, so these Holiday Clubs will help to provide fun and enriching activities for Nottingham’s children. We’ve got lots of great Holiday Club providers on board – from small community groups to big well-known names like Nottingham Forest Community Trust, Trent Bridge Community Trust and Nottingham Playhouse. There’s going to be something for all interests and in every Area of the City.”
Back in October 2020 Nottingham City Council endorsed Marcus Rashford’s campaign to tackle Holiday Hunger. At a meeting of the Full Council in November, councillors highlighted the levels of child poverty in Nottingham and gave a commitment to support supermarket vouchers to FSM pupils over the recent Christmas and February half term holidays. Government funding developments enabled this commitment to continue throughout the Easter and May half term holidays in 2021.
How to claim your supermarket e-voucher?
Schools will shortly receive instructions about how to issue vouchers. If your child usually receives Free School Meals your school will be able to issue you with a £15 voucher for each pupil for each week of the holiday. The vouchers will be given to you before your school breaks up for Summer.
Registered pre-school, childcare settings and a Further Education settings will shortly receive instructions about voucher eligibility and how to issue vouchers.
These settings will then be able to issue you with a £15 voucher for each week of the holiday. The vouchers will be issued to you before your setting closes for Summer.
How to book places at a Holiday Activity Club?
To find a Holiday Activity Club near you visit www.asklion.co.uk/funandfood
All sessions offer a warm welcome, entertaining outdoor activities and lots of fun!
- Places are limited and must be booked in advance.
- Every Holiday Activity Club listed on the website above will provide their contact details for you to book a place.
- Not eligible for Free School Meals? You can still visit the website above to find and book sessions near you. Some extra places will be available on a first-come-first served basis.