Cllr Cosima Towneley visited HAF clubs

Youngsters enjoy HAF clubs during the summer holidays

HUNDREDS of children have been having fun at holiday activities and food (HAF) clubs taking place across Lancashire over the summer holidays.

Councillor Cosima Towneley, Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for children and families, enjoyed visiting HAF sessions earlier this month at Scotforth St Pauls school in Lancaster and Salt Ayre Leisure Centre in Morecambe.

The HAF programme provides at least four hours of activities a day, including a meal, over four days of the school holiday, until September 1.

Clubs deliver a diverse range of activities, including football, tennis, rugby, gymnastics, athletics, rounders, basketball, swimming, paddleboarding, canoeing and fishing.  Children can also take part in dance, drama and arts groups, music, DJing, computer coding and games, forest schools and cooking. 

To get a free place on the HAF programme, your family needs to be eligible for free school meals, although some children may be eligible for a place using discretionary criteria. 

Additional paid places are available to all children, with some taken up by visiting children wanting to improve their English speaking skills.

County Councillor Cosima Towneley said: "I thoroughly enjoyed attending the sessions and seeing for myself the wonderful activities that are on offer for youngsters. At some sessions, around half of the places were free and half were paid, meaning that when they return to school, lots of the children will have formed stronger friendships together. The sessions will help to make the children more confident, they will learn new skills including cooking and have lots of great summer memories.

"For so many families and through no fault of their own, the cost of living crisis has been hitting them hard. For those who could be struggling, to have an opportunity like this where the children can make wonderful memories throughout the holidays without the parents having to spend anything is a lifeline. It means that they know their youngsters are still having a wonderful summer of magical memories, taking some of the pressure off parents during these hard post-pandemic times.

"I was thrilled to play tennis, build a fort and inspect homemade kites with talented youngsters during the session at Scotforth St Pauls. The sessions on offer at Salt Ayre Leisure Centre in Morecambe included swimming, football, bucking bronco, painting vinyls, making your own temporary tattoos and giant inflatable snooker!

"I was delighted to talk to some of the youngsters there, as well as representatives from the Army, Lancashire Constabulary, and chefs from the Lancashire and Morecambe College, who were prepping the most delicious salmon risotto!

"The sessions offered different things depending on the age ranges that they were targeting and there really was something for everyone."

For more information, including how to book your place, go to