Holiday Activities and Food Programme 2023

Winter Holiday, Activities and Food Programme #HAF2023

Children and Spiderman

FREE activities and food from 2 to 5 January for children, young people and their families who are in receipt of benefit related Free School Meals

What is the HAF Winter Activities and Food programme?

A range of free activities and food for children, young people and their families who are in receipt of benefit related Free School Meals (FSM) to access from 2 to 5 January.

From fun activities to the theatre, film making, gymnastics, arts, and crafts, multi sports clubs and more, we hope there is something for everyone.

Across Milton Keynes, we have 8,000 individual sessions planned for the Winter Holidays. To book your activities, simply browse our programme and contact your chosen providers through the online booking system.

Where can I find the activity programme?

Evouchers will be distributed to children and young people identified through the school census that are in receipt of benefit related Free School Meals (FSM) Evouchers will be sent out by by 5 December and will include a link directly to the booking system.

If you are in receipt of benefit related Free School Meals (FSM) and have not received an Evoucher, please speak to your child’s school in the first instance if you have not received a code after 5 December.

All HAF activities and sessions will be found in one place and are easy to book by registering with our online booking system with the programme available to view here with bookings commencing on 5 December.

How is the HAF programme funded?

The council has been awarded grant funding, by 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 2023/24.

We want to offer a diverse range of events this Winter to meet the local interests and needs of children, young people, and their families. We hope this programme of activities will help children and young people 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 to be more engaged with school and other local services

HAF Activities and booking – FAQs

How much do these activities cost?

All HAF session for children, young people and their families who are in receipt of benefit related Free School Meals are free to attend.

How do I book on to HAF sessions?

Please contact providers directly through the HAF online booking system and book your activities using the unique Evoucher code you will receive by 5 December.

From the 20 November you will be able to view and search for suitable provision and register your interest through the new online booking system here and make bookings from the 5 December. Register your interest and book early to avoid disappointment as spaces are limited.

My child has additional needs, will HAF sessions be suitable?

Please speak to individual providers about your child. Providers are able to cater their events for those with special educational needs and disability but will need more specific details to enable the correct support to be put in place ahead of the event. Please find more information on how to find a HAF session here

Is food provided at HAF sessions?

All HAF sessions will include a healthy meal. When booking sessions with providers, please complete the dietary requirements section of the booking process to ensure all meals can be correctly catered to the individuals’ requirements.

Is there a limit to the number of HAF sessions you can book?

We ask that only one session is booked each day. We hope there is something for everyone in our programme and you may want to take part in multiple activities.

However, we do ask you to only book those events you are sure to attend as 'covering slots just in case' prevents other families from accessing the opportunity.

The HAF session I want for my child is fully booked. Should I contact them anyway?

If the session you would like to attend is full, you are now able to add yourself to the online booking system waiting list.

I can no longer attend the session I booked. What should I do?

Please cancel any sessions you have booked and can no longer attend. We have limited places and sessions which are booked and not attended, incur a cost to the programme and can stop other eligible families from accessing the provision. Please click link on How do I cancel a booking? | Eequ Help Center to find out how to cancel a session or contact the provider directly.

Please email us at if you have any questions.  

Kids having fun on water

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 that phase of schooling (primary or secondary).

If you think you may be eligible for Free School Meals, please contact your child's school or click the link below to apply.

Milton Keynes Council Free School Meals Application

Children painting


Winter plan to help most vulnerable

This winter, one in five people are expected not to be able to heat their homes properly, and one in 20 will not have enough food.

Vulnerable people, such as those with disabilities or health conditions, are disproportionately affected. The cost-of-living crisis is one of the reasons that MKCC have a surge in demand for our services, so for the second year we’re committing funding to help residents facing food and energy insecurity.

We’re doing this to support residents, but also to try to prevent some of the pressure on essential services such as hospitals

Our Winter Plan can be found here alongside useful links to services and support. 

Cost of living support | Milton Keynes City Council (


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 onlineA list of frequently asked questions can be found here.

Holiday Activities and Food Programme #HAF

Holiday Activities and Food Programme #HAF contact information