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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.

2023 Funding

in 2023, Nottingham City Council was awarded £1.8 million as part of the programme. Locally we brand the programme as “Free Fun and Food”. Nottingham City Council implemented a centralised booking system for activities in 2023.

Free Fun and Food programme 2023

Through the Free Fun and Food programme, Nottingham City Council have worked with an amazing variety of local providers and schools across the city to put on holiday activities attended by over 8,500 children.

  • Across 2023 the Holiday Activity Fund was delivered by 91 local community and voluntary organisations and schools.
  • The programme has been well received by parents and children alike and the community of delivers we pulled together were similarly positive.

Tackling the cost of living crisis

The Holiday Activity Fund is a vital part of supporting Nottingham residents to tackle the cost of living crisis. Throughout 2023, delivery of the Holiday Activity Fund has supported children and families in receipt of Free School Meals/targeted Non-Free School Meal children to ensure that children are supplied with high quality food and activities. Without this programme, these young people would be at risk of Holiday Hunger.

Further Funding 2022-2025

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. Nottingham City Council expects to receive a similar total of funding again for the calendar year 2023, which is approximately £1.8 million

Lead Organisation

Nottingham City Council is looking for lead organisations to run mass engagement programmes, providing high quality enrichment and sporting activities over Nottingham’s four main school holidays - Easter, summer, October half term and Christmas in 2024.


Delivery will be a week at Easter, three weeks in the summer, a week in October and a week at Christmas. (For HAF, the DfE limits the week to 4 days). This is 24 days in total.

Successful organisations will work collaboratively, strategically and operationally with other Nottingham based providers to embed a joined up approached to the delivery of the Holiday Activity Fund.

Smaller Holiday Activity Fund providers

Lead organisations should act as supporting mechanism for smaller Holiday Activity Fund providers. They are integral to helping to improve policies, procedures and delivery across the programme to add to the legacy effect of the Holiday Activity Fund, enhancing localised community provision for years to come.

Grant Bidding Process

We are welcoming applications for both our open funding round – suitable for small deliverers - and lead organisations to support with the delivery of the Holiday Activity Fund programme across 2024.

The bidding process will run from 21st November until 5pm on 26th December. If you have any questions relating to the programme please email


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