School Winter Holidays Support

The winter school holidays can be hard to juggle because of increased food, energy and childcare costs, work, and the added festive commitments.

Buckinghamshire Council offers a range of support for children and their families during the school holidays, including food vouchers, holiday clubs and hot meals for eligible families. There is also support available to help families in need this winter, including those not already receiving support.

Free digital food vouchers for eligible families

Helping Hand logo

What digital food vouchers are on offer?

Buckinghamshire Council’s Helping Hand scheme provides eligible families with a digital food voucher code to use during school holidays.

  • Christmas Holidays = £30 voucher code

You are eligible to receive the vouchers if your children receive:

  • free school meals
  • early years’ pupil premium
  • a 2-year-old funded free education place

These digital voucher codes will be issued directly by schools ahead of the school holidays. The vouchers can be used in most major supermarkets in Buckinghamshire and instructions will be provided by schools when vouchers are issued.

This scheme is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions Household Support Grant. View more about free digital food vouchers.

Buckinghamshire HAF campaign 1

Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme

HAF offers free Easter, Summer and Winter holiday activities and healthy hot meals to children in Reception to Year 11 who receive benefits-related free school meals.

What activities are on offer?

  • thousands of free HAF holiday club places
  • holiday club places in over 45 locations across Bucks
  • a range of high-quality activities for all ages and interests including day trips, sports, dance, cookery and more
  • each child or young person can attend up to 4 HAF sessions over the Christmas holidays
  • a healthy hot meal or a suitable alternative is provided at each activity

Eligible pupils will receive an email or text message from which will contain a HAF voucher. Find out more and how to book onto HAF clubs on our HAF booking page.

The HAF programme is funded by the Department for Education and coordinated by the council.

Take a look at our Summer 2022 video and Christmas 2022 video.

View more information on the HAF web pages.

Holiday support, free and low-cost activities

There is support and free or low-cost activities available to all families during the school holiday including those not eligible for free school meals.

Holiday support

If you're struggling to afford or access food:

There are free 'feeding your family during the school holidays' courses available on:

  • 5 and 12 December at Quarrendon Adult Learning Centre, Aylesbury
  • 4 and 11 December at St Andrews Church, High Wycombe

Find out if your eligible and book your free place online or call or text 07977 155 937.

Find out more about the wider cost of living support available:

Leisure centres

Leisure centres across Bucks have a wide variety of activities taking place:

  • family swimming sessions
  • swimming crash courses at Swan Pool in Buckingham
  • soft play at Swan Pool in Buckingham, Chesham leisure centre, Chilterns Lifestyle Centre in Amersham
  • adventure climbing at Wycombe leisure centre, Chilterns Lifestyle Centre in Amersham

Find your local centre and see what’s on.


Visit your local library website or social media channels to view events at your local library.

Love Exploring

Explore the great outdoors right here on your doorstep, using the free and interactive Love Exploring app. There's a range of games to play, activities and guided trails to do throughout the year, when visiting parks and open spaces around the county.

Search Love Exploring in your app store to start exploring.


From stately homes to ancient monuments, Buckinghamshire has many historic buildings and places of interest to discover.