Funding secured to help Birmingham children during the school holidays

Happy Healthy Holidays has secured £2million funding to provide free holiday food and fun activities for children across Birmingham during the 2019 summer holidays.

Funded by the Department for Education, Happy Healthy Holidays will be running this summer across all of Birmingham’s ten districts and aims to help 18,000 children have a great summer. The initiative forms the largest of the Department for Education’s Holiday Activity and Food Pilot Programmes this summer, and builds on Accord Housing Association’s experience of taking action in this area over the last six years.

The Accord Housing Association led consortium, strongly committed to community wellbeing and children’s outcomes in Birmingham, includes Birmingham Playcare Network, the Active Wellbeing Society, and Sport Birmingham. Accord is also supported by a wider network of partners including, Fareshare, Brakes Meals & More, Birmingham City Council, Severn Trent, City Serve and the Let’s Cook Project.

Happy Healthy Holidays aims to increase and improve the quality of holiday provision and to help families that find the summer particularly challenging in terms of being able to access affordable nutritious healthy food and fun physical activities.

As part of the programme, a new community funding and training support scheme has been launched to encourage organisations to scale up their delivery and strengthen their capacity to provide good quality holiday activities with fun hands-on cooking opportunities and healthy meals for children and young people.

If your organisation can provide holiday places for children this summer, then we want to hear from you – click here for more information on how to apply. The consortium are looking to work with a range of providers including schools, nurseries, children centres, youth organisations, faith groups, sports clubs, community centres and local businesses.

Sara Woodall, Executive Director of Communities at Accord, said: “We are delighted that Happy Healthy Holidays will be co-ordinating the roll out of this scheme in Birmingham. Helping children to access great activities and tasty meals during the school holidays is something that all members of the Happy Healthy Holidays consortium feel very passionately about.

“During the 2019 summer holidays we will be working with local schools, children’s centres and community groups to support children’s physical and mental wellbeing; helping them to thrive and enjoy, what we hope will be our sunniest months.”

Dr Justin Varney, Director of Public Health at Birmingham City Council, added: “Summer holidays provide a great opportunity to build on the strong foundation of healthy eating and physical activity in schools in a different, fun way. This programme, targeted at those most in need, provides free healthy food, physical activity and educational activities in some of our most challenged communities.”

David Cusack, Chief Executive at the St Paul’s Trust, commented: “St Paul’s is proud to be involved in the Happy Healthy Holidays programme that will work with family’s in Balsall Heath and surrounding areas to ensure children have a well-balanced nutritious diet and stimulating activities during the summer holiday programme. We will be working with families to ensure the impact of the programme has a lasting positive effect on the health of families in the area”

Find out more about Happy Healthy Holidays at

Adeel Khan
Author: Adeel Khan