Calderdale holiday club wins prestigious award

HAF Awards 2023
  • Nurturing Creativity CIC in Calderdale wins Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF) Regional Champion Award for Yorkshire and the Humber, recognising its holiday club for helping disadvantaged children during school holidays.
  • Nurturing Creativity CIC’s projects deliver experiences and programmes using drama, dance, music, sport, art, craft and outdoor activities as ways to build confidence and self-esteem and improve life chances for all.
  • HAF supports low-income families with free enriching activities and nutritious meals.

Calderdale community organisation, Nurturing Creativity CIC has won the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Regional Champion Award for Yorkshire and Humber for its holiday club at this year’s HAF Programme Awards.

The accolade was presented for its work in giving children from low-income families access to free, nutritious food and engaging activities over the school holidays.  

Hundreds of thousands of children across England attend HAF holiday clubs nationwide, which support parents with childcare costs over the Christmas, Easter and summer holidays, offering children enriching activities such as football, play sessions and cooking classes.

Nurturing Creativity CIC demonstrated an exceptional commitment to providing engaging activities for children during the holidays. It is one of 8000 clubs, events or organised activities in England to have offered an experience to around 600,000 children in summer 2022.

Kirilea Whitehead from Nurturing Creativity CIC explained:

“The HAF Programme has enabled us to provide safe, fun and engaging holiday clubs of the highest quality in Ovenden and Illingworth. The children from these areas experience a vast range of activities with us and we encourage them to step outside their comfort zone and ‘Give it a Go’, building confidence, character and self-esteem.

“Our clubs are valued by the children, the families, the schools and all the staff involved. Winning this award highlights a real team effort and makes us extremely proud of all who create the vibrant and innovative environment that inspires and engages all our children.”

Cllr Sarah Courtney, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Towns, Tourism and Voluntary Sector, said:

“Congratulations to Nurturing Creativity CIC for winning this prestigious award! It’s an amazing achievement and well-deserved recognition for everything they do for Calderdale’s young people.

“The Council is proud to work in partnership with the Community Foundation for Calderdale and community organisations like Nurturing Creativity to provide a vital lifeline for families struggling financially, especially during the cost of living crisis. Together, with the support of the Holiday Activities and Food Programme, we’re helping to reduce inequalities by tackling child hunger and family poverty, and giving young people hope and access to opportunities to achieve their potential.”

Steve Duncan, CEO of Community Foundation for Calderdale, added:

“Reducing inequalities and investing in children is important. We are so proud that the regional winner for Yorkshire and the Humber is from Calderdale and feel that this reflects the high quality of Healthy Holidays projects that are running in our borough.”

Minister Claire Coutinho, Minister for Children, Families and Wellbeing, said:

“Our Holiday Activity and Food Programme gives children across the country access to incredible experiences during the holidays, helping to make friends and create memories through enriching and fun activities. Nurturing Creativity CIC has gone above and beyond in offering an experience like no other which is why they’re this year’s winner of the HAF Regional Champion for Yorkshire and the Humber.”

The government’s HAF Programme started as a pilot in 2018. It was created in response to the pressures that low-income families can face over the holidays, with some children being less likely to access organised out-of-school activities, and more likely to experience social isolation and ‘unhealthy holidays’ in terms of nutrition and physical health.

It provides free places for school-aged children from reception to year 11 who receive benefits-related free school meals. Government provides funding through local authorities to fund clubs over summer, Easter and Christmas breaks.

The continuation of the HAF Programme is part of the government’s commitment to support vulnerable families with rising costs due to global inflationary pressures, particularly in disadvantaged areas. This programme runs alongside the Household Support Fund(external link) which supports vulnerable households through small payments for food, clothing and utilities. The fund has recently been extended to 30 March 2024 with an additional £1 billion to be used by local authorities to support vulnerable households.