Help is on hand for eligible families to make sure children and young people have access to healthy food, fun activities and stay warm over the Easter break.
Parents or carers of children and young people in Northumberland, who receive free school meals during term-time, are eligible to receive £100 in vouchers towards food and fuel costs through the Government’s Household Support Fund (HSF).
Northumberland County Council was allocated £2.48m from the HSF to support residents for the six-month period from October 2021 to March 2022 and has to date has made over 40,000 support payments. Additional funding of £2.4m has been provided for April to September 2022.
Councillor Guy Renner-Thompson, cabinet member with responsibility for children’s services, said: “As in previous school holidays, this payment will once again be a vital lifeline to many of our families who may be struggling during these challenging times as the cost-of-living rises.
“Through the Government’s Household Support Fund and the Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme run through Northumberland Communities Together, our children and young people will continue to have access to healthy food and enriching activities over the Easter break.”
The vouchers will have been distributed via schools, either through the local authority’s Huggg scheme or their school’s alternative voucher schemes.
Over 9,000 children and young people have benefitted from the support during the school holidays, with parents and carers being sent their vouchers electronically. Those who receive Huggg vouchers, will be able to use them at supermarkets such as Aldi, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Marks & Spencer.
A wide range of memory-making activities are also on offer to eligible families during the two weeks through the Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme. Activities include holiday camps, as well as trips to local attractions such as Northumberland Zoo and Alnwick Garden, along with ice skating, rock climbing, swimming and movie days – all with a healthy meal provided.
Families eligible for this support will usually have been contacted by their school, but anyone who would like to find out more about the support available to them and their children this Easter and beyond should contact Northumberland Communities Together.
Phone the Northumberland Communities Together Response Hub on 01670 620015 9am-6pm, 7 days a week or email: NCT@northumberland.gov.uk to find out more.