The Holiday Activity Fund is a £200 million country wide programme funded by the Department for Education. The programme aims to provide activities and food for children eligible for Free School Meals during the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays plus October half term.

In 2021, Nottingham City Council was awarded £1.8 million as part of the programme and we worked with an amazing variety of local providers across the city to put on holiday activities attended by 16,000 young people during the summer and Christmas holidays. The programme was really well received by parents and children alike.

In Nottingham the sessions are branded as ‘FREE Fun and Food’.

Community groups, schools and council services deliver FREE Fun and Food Holiday Clubs in communities across the city. The FREE Fun and Food sessions include a variety of activities, including sports, music, arts and other exciting opportunities to learn and develop skills, alongside a healthy meal each day. 

Children attend the sessions throughout the holidays, including specific provisions available for children with SEND or additional needs, at no cost to families.

Lead Partner

In late 2021, the government announced funding for the programme for another three years, from 2022 - 2025, with the funding levels to be confirmed on a year by year basis.

This is an amazing amount of funding for the city and we are so pleased to be able to build on the success of 2021. Nottingham Forest Community Trust have been appointed as our lead partner for the project and funding has been allocated to them and the seven Area Based Grant Leads to develop holiday activities throughout 2022. 

Grant bidding process 

We are running an open grant bidding process for community providers and schools to apply for funding to run holiday clubs in the summer, October half term and at Christmas in 2022. The application process is open from Monday 21st March until Friday 22nd April. 

You can apply online here or by completing the application form and emailing it to This email address can be used for general queries also. 

Publicity and promotion requirements

Groups and organisations who have been awarded funding will need to promote their ‘Free Fun and Food’ sessions by registering with Ask Lion and also following the branding requirements outlined here.

All sessions will be advertised to families on and this website will also provide the contact details for booking places.

Ahead of each school holiday the FREE Fun and Food sessions will be launched through the press, social media and our email newsletter called ‘Information and Support’. Click on the link to subscribe to the newsletter.

Every month subscribers will also get a helpful round up of information about support services including the availability of food vouchers, advice on debt and benefits, reducing household bills, employment and job-hunting support including training courses and much, much more.

If you have any queries regarding the HAF programme, please email