Getting ready for summer with Your Holiday Hub

Councillor Asher Craig is pictured, smiling, with a bush in the background.
This blog is from Cllr Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor for Children Services, Education, and Equalities and Labour Councillor for St George West ward.

With only a few weeks to go until schools break up and children enjoy six weeks of summer, we are celebrating the return of Your Holiday Hub (YHH).

YHH is a programme created specifically for children and young people who receive benefits-related free school meals, giving them access to fully-funded, fun activities during the school holidays. Thousands of children and young people, and their families, have already benefitted from our previous iterations of Your Holiday Hub.

Nearly 20,000 children in our city receive benefits-related free school meals and this support should continue even when term finishes. With funding through the government’s Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme of around £1.8 million for this financial year we are able to do that, providing equal access to fun and engaging activities that also support healthy and active lives.

In addition to the activities, children and young people also receive a free meal from the organisation running the activity which are healthy and delicious.

Results from 2023’s Quality of Life survey showed that food insecurity is worse than last year and pre-pandemic. Eight per cent of respondents told us they are now experiencing moderate or worse food insecurity, doubling to 16 per cent in the most deprived areas.

YHH activities run in Bristol wards where there is a high number of people receiving benefits-related free school meals and so providing them with a free meal as well is hugely beneficial.

Activities on offer include cookery, crafts, sports, day trips, performing arts and much more. Families can see what’s on offer in July and August by using the YHH website where you can filter by age, activity and location.

We have around 65 organisations across the city that help provide YHH and we are so grateful for their hard work and dedication in providing such great sessions that support families in and around the city.

To book onto any of the activities, contact each individual provider who will be able to confirm if you’re eligible. Full details of the eligibility criteria is available on the Your Holiday Hub website. If you’re unsure if you’re eligible, complete our get in touch form and someone will contact you.

Young people and parents attend a pond, with an allotment in the background. This is at Your Holiday Hub's activities club.

If you have a child with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) or they have an education, health and care plan, please contact the organisers of each session where you can discuss your child’s individual needs and how they can best be supported on the day.

If you are not eligible for the fully funded sessions, plenty of paid for activities will be added to the site to enjoy, so take a look in the run up to the holidays and find something near you.

The YHH programme also has a strong focus on food, encouraging children and young people to have a greater understanding of how it is produced, what makes a nutritious meal and how it supports your health and wellbeing.

Children from Your Holiday Hub, playing on a football pitch, running towards the camera smiling.

We have been working with the Bristol Food Network, as well as a diverse range of partners, to develop the recently launched Bristol Good Food 2030: A One City Framework for Action. Together, we can reduce food poverty, support families and create a food system that works better for everyone in Bristol.

The school holidays can often bring added pressures for parents, and we understand that there are many families struggling at the moment. In many cases, the national cost of living crisis is putting pressure on people to make the very real choice between food and other household costs. Please reach out for help if you need it, there are lots of charities and organisations that can help you.

Visit our cost of living support webpage where you will find information about food services, plus other advice on benefits and financial help, employment as well as mental health.