Spring into a new Healthy Holidays season

As a range of cost of living support continues across Calderdale, local families can now book on to the latest Healthy Holidays activities for May half-term.

Healthy Holidays Calderdale – a partnership between Calderdale Council, the Community Foundation for Calderdale and local organisations – has been providing free activities and nutritious meals to children and young people in the school holidays since 2021.

Holiday clubs are running at locations across the borough during May half-term, offering sports, games and creative activities and all including a healthy, hot meal.

The spring, summer and winter programmes are funded by the Government’s Holiday Activities and Food Programme. To expand on this, Calderdale’s Never Hungry Again fund has been funding further programmes during school half-terms.

Booking is available now for sessions running from Tuesday 28 to Friday 31 May 2024. Places are limited, so people are encouraged to book as soon as possible.

The Healthy Holidays programme is available free of charge for school children in Calderdale from Reception class age to Year 11 who receive benefits-related free school meals. There are also funded or subsidised places for some other children. More information about all the available sessions, eligibility and how to book,  is available at

Feedback from families about the Healthy Holidays programme has been overwhelmingly positive, with the sessions not only helping with food and childcare costs, but also supporting young people to be active, healthy and engaged.

In some cases, the programme has been truly life-enhancing for those taking part. During the Easter programme, one Healthy Holidays provider welcomed a new family who were facing significant challenges, having experienced homelessness. They were initially hesitant about the programme as their son had complex needs, including autism and food-related anxieties.

His experience at the club was transformative. Despite his initial reservations, he quickly bonded with other children, immersing himself in activities like pizza-making with enthusiasm. Through creative approaches, such as turning healthy eating into a game, the club also helped him overcome his food aversions and enjoy new experiences.

Instead of facing social isolation during Easter, he found companionship and discovered new interests. By providing a supportive environment and diverse experiences, the club was able to make a meaningful difference in his life during the holiday season.

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

“The Healthy Holidays programme is much more than just an out-of-school club. Not only do the sessions help to keep young people entertained during the school holidays, but they also ensure that those who normally receive free school meals still receive a healthy, nutritious lunch.

“We know that many people continue to face financial pressures and how families value these sessions. We’re pleased to be able to partner with the CFFC to fund the half-term holiday programme and give young people access to free activities, meals and opportunities to reach their potential.”

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

“Reducing inequalities and investing in children is important. As an organisation who prides itself on connecting people, we were pleased to connect the Business for Calderdale Committee with this programme and they decided to donate the surplus from the Business for Calderdale Awards to help leverage the Healthy Holidays programme during the half term. No matter the size of the donation, we can help direct funds to projects that will have the biggest impact.”

The Healthy Holidays programme supports the Council’s priority to reduce inequalities, creating opportunities for young people and supporting local families during school holidays.

For further help and practical support during the cost of living crisis, visit with advice on a wide range of topics.

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