Helping families have a fun-filled festive season with free holiday activities, food and support

Buckinghamshire Council is offering support to eligible families this Christmas in the form of free school holiday activities, food vouchers and wider assistance.

Buckinghamshire Council is once again offering support to eligible families this Christmas in the form of free school holiday activities, food vouchers and wider assistance to help bring a bit of Christmas sparkle to those who may be 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, including 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 coordinated by the council, thousands of places are available for children in receipt of benefits related free school meals to take part in the 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 HAF activities, digital food vouchers are being provided to eligible families.

Children and young people who receive free school meals, as well as those receiving early years’ pupil premium or 2-year-old funded free education places will receive a digital food voucher that can be used in most major supermarkets in Buckinghamshire. This scheme is funded from the Department for Work and Pensions’ Household Support Fund.

Parents whose children are eligible for HAF places will receive their HAF voucher via email. A new system has been set up for parents and carers to book the activities. To find out more visit: How to book HAF places | Family Information Service (

Those eligible for food vouchers will be sent these via their child’s school, ahead of the last week of term.

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 531 151.

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