Join us to provide holiday fun and food to our most in-need children and young people

Published Wednesday, 3rd March 2021

Schools, academies and voluntary and community sector organisations in Hartlepool are being invited to take part in a new project to provide healthy food and enriching activities to children and young people in the town during this year’s Easter, summer and Christmas holidays.

The initiative is aimed at children who receive benefits-related free school meals and is being led by Hartlepool Borough Council using funding which it has obtained from the Government. It builds on the success of, and replaces, previous ‘Filling The Holiday Gap’ projects.

Groups taking part will receive funding to provide stimulating, free holiday activities and nutritious meals for eligible children and young people for at least four hours per day and four days per week during the school holidays.

This will include a week during the Easter and Christmas holidays and four weeks during the summer holidays.

The Council is planning for the coming Easter school holidays and is currently inviting applications to contribute to delivering the scheme during that particular period. Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, most of the Easter activity programme will need to be provided in virtual form online.

Organisations wishing to take part need to complete an application form which is available – together with further information – at

Completed applications must be returned by noon on Monday 15th March.

Councillor Leisa Smith, Chair of the Council’s Children’s Services Committee, said: “School holidays can be a time of particular pressure and stress for some families because of increased costs such as food and childcare and reduced incomes, and this year that situation has been made even worse due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Previous ‘Filling The Holiday Gap’ schemes have been a great success and this year we’re aiming to continue and build on that success even further.

“Organisations taking part will be playing a vital role in helping ensure that children and young people in our most vulnerable families don’t go hungry and can also enjoy engaging and enriching activities which keep them stimulated and support their learning and development.”