Acti-Fit delivery the Holiday Activities and Food Programme in partnership with Walsall Council

September 9th, 2021 by Dave Lote

Acti-Fit had the honour of working as a delivery partner to Walsall council to deliver a Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme! We had an amazing summer delivering this holiday camp provision to the children around the Walsall community.

This holiday provision is primarily aimed at children and families who receive benefits-related free school meals and may be at a disadvantage throughout the school holidays. Families with reduced income may struggle throughout this period of time because of increased costs for food and childcare. For children, this may have a negative impact on their health (lack of nutrition and physical health) and experience more social isolation due to not having access to out-of-school activities.

The HAF programme aims to provide these families with valuable support by giving the children opportunities to access rewarding and active sessions alongside supplying two healthy meals per day over the school holidays. HAF consists of 4 hours for 4 days a week per child, offering them an inclusive and bespoke programme.

Acti-fit were proud to be apart of providing this provision and being given the chance to have a positive impact on the children’s health and lifestyle throughout their summer. We designed our summer camp delivery around the aim of engaging the children with a variety of sports, experiencing new enrichment activities and develop their understanding of a balanced and nutritious diet.

Providing the children with a variety of sports allowed them to have new experiences. Some of the sports we provided were Football, Dodgeball, Capture the Flag, Cricket, Rugby and Ultimate Frisbee. The children were given the chance to explore new skills, hobbies and explored different ways of working as a team.

Alongside sporting activities, we planned enrichment activities. Taking part in these engaging and enriching activities support the development of resilience, confidence and wellbeing along with their wider educational attainment. Some of these activities included making lava lamps, creating self portraits with nature, making slime, making musical instruments with recycled materials and many more!

Another aspect of camps was educating the children on nutrition, healthy eating, food budgeting and food preparation. We found the children had mixed views on these sessions before we had delivered them; this was because they felt as though they had been taught about healthy eating at school and they were reluctant to be spending their summer camp doing this also. However, when the sessions came around, the children were very openminded. After participating in them, their view had changed on how making healthy foods and snacks allows them to be creative, explore different foods and have fun when helping in the kitchen at home!

As well as impacting the children’s wellbeing and understanding on food, Acti-Fit wanted to support the families who participate. Ensuring they are signposted towards other local services and information to support their health, employment and education while also developing their understanding on nutrition. At the end of every week at summer camp, the families were provided with food parcels to take home. They included fresh fruit, veg and cupboard staples; as well as being given recipe cards that the families could use to make meals together with the food that was provided. Any food parcels that were not taken back by the families, the Acti-Fit team visited the local food bank with the parcels so we would be able to support the wider community in Walsall that may need additional support.

Acti-Fit are very grateful to have been given the opportunity to provide this provision to the community. It allowed us to express our company values of making an impact, striving for excellence, working together, being dependable and reliable and showing integrity. We want to thank Walsall Rugby club for allowing us to use the facilities to provide our camps and allowing us to have a positive impact on all of the children who participated.