Holiday Activities and Food Programme 2023

Spring Holiday, Activities and Food Programme #HAF2023


Children on grass

Activities and food for children, young people, and their families, during 3 – 6 April Spring holidays.

What is planned for Spring 2023:

The council has been awarded grant funding, from the Department for Education (DfE), to coordinate free activities and food, for children in receipt of benefit related Free School Meals (FSM), during the Spring, Summer, and Winter school holidays in 2023.

Why we need you:

We want to offer a diverse range of events to meet the local interests and needs of children, young people, and their families. We hope that by doing this that eligible children and young people across Milton Keynes, will be supported to

•eat more healthily over the school holidays

•be more active during the school holidays

•take part in engaging and enriching activities

•be safe and not to be socially isolated

•have greater knowledge of health and nutrition; and

•be more engaged with school and other local services


Is your organisation able to provide activities and food during Spring 2023?

We are keen to work with organisations across Milton Keynes, and we are inviting interested organisations to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for funding to deliver activity and food sessions lasting 4 hours during the Spring school holidays 3 – 6 April.

In line with the DfE grant, provision needs to be targeted for those children and young people, where the family is in receipt of benefit related Free School Meals.  We would encourage organisations to view the FSM map here and consider the detail, to ensure that events are proposed in areas of need.

We also encourage organisations to consider the FAQs here which have been compiled to support you with any queries, along with the DfE guidance which can be found here Holiday activities and food programme 2022 - GOV.UK ( Please note that due to the DfE grant funding arrangements it is important that any events meet the requirements set out in their guidance, this includes the duration of sessions which need to be delivered over 4 days, with sessions running for at at least 4 hours on each of the days.

Once you are ready to make your EOI, please complete the EOI Form that can be found here.


Please note that the deadline for applications is midnight on 23 January 2023, any application received after this date will not be considered.

It is anticipated decisions regarding events for Spring will be made mid-February 2023.

 Please email us at if you have any questions.  

Free School Meals

Who is eligible?

You must be in receipt of one of the below benefits to be eligible for free school meals for your child/children.

  • Income Support
  • Employment & Support Allowance – Income related
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance (not Contribution Based JSA)
  • Child Tax Credit only (with a combined family income of less than £16,190 per annum as assessed by HM Revenues & Customs) Please note, anyone receiving Working Tax Credit, regardless of income, will not qualify for free school meals.
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit - if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you receive)
  • National Asylum Seekers Support (NASS)
  • Guaranteed Element of Pension Tax Credit

If your child is eligible for free school meals, they’ll remain eligible until they finish the phase of schooling (primary or secondary) they’re in on 31 March 2022.

Please contact your child's school for details of how to apply.


Children Fitness



Homework Plus Clubs Expression of Interest (EOI)

To support children and young people across Milton Keynes, we are providing access to one off set up funding for organisations to deliver Homework Plus Clubs. Each Homework Plus Club will be expected to:

  • Run for 90 minutes
  • Be available out of school hours
  • Provide support with homework, including internet access
  • Allow children and young people to socialise
  • Provide a substantial meal. No picnics! Organisations might want to work with other community groups, such as the Community Food larders, and Fair Share to achieve this.
  • Be available to all children and young people
  • Be free, or very low cost to access.

The council is offering a one off 1K set up grant to support organisations who are interested in setting up their own Homework Plus Club.

If you are interested email a single PDF version of your completed Expression of Interest (EOI) application form to 

Please save your application in the following format ‘Your organisation name’ and the words ‘Homework Plus Clubs’. This should also be included in the email “subject” field when submitting your application.

The deadline for applications has been extended to midnight on the 15 December 2022 any application received after this date will not be considered.

Please email us at if you have any questions.

Cost of living support

To help people through the cost-of-living crisis, the Cabinet has agreed a Winter Plan with a £3.3m package of support. The support is made of City Council funds and Government grants – read it here

From rising energy prices to the price of the weekly shop going up, the cost-of-living crisis is being felt by most people, but for those on low to medium incomes the impact is greatest. If you are worried about your finances and how you are going to make ends meet, there is help available. Please find information on some of the support available to the residents of Milton Keynes. Read our cost of living help factsheet 

NHS Healthy Start scheme

If you are pregnant, or have a child under 4, and you are claiming certain benefits you may be able to get financial help to buy healthy foods and milk under the NHS Healthy Start scheme.

If you’re eligible (check your eligibility here), then you’ll be sent a Healthy Start card with money on it that you can use at supermarkets, local shops and markets stocking fresh, frozen and tinned fruit and vegetables. You can also take your card to a local children’s centre to collect free vitamins for babies and young children.

It’s much easier to apply, now the scheme has been revised so families can apply online. A list of frequently asked questions can be found here.



Holiday Activities and Food Programme #HAF

Holiday Activities and Food Programme #HAF contact information