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Healthy school meals and fun for Peterborough children

The sight of youngsters having fun again has been a happy one during a programme of summer fun activities at Thomas Deacon Academy
TDA bouncy
Fun times for youngsters at TDA

The children are enjoying the HAF (Healthy and Fun) programme from Peterborough City Council, which is helping the families of children who get free school meals. 

The programme, catering for TDA students and pupils at its feeder schools, is now fully booked for the 16 days over the summer holiday.

The children have been provided with hot lunch, making healthy food and drinks such as stir-fries, popcorn and smoothies, as well as exercising on BMX tracks among other activities.

Some activities such as using bouncy castles have largely been shelved for the past 18 months, due to Covid concerns, but the lessening of restrictions has meant they can return.

Community engagement lead Kelly Joiner said: "This is newly-funded, and we also did it at Easter.  

"We now have to make sure it continues because Covid has impacted disadvantaged children, so we are putting it on to take the pressure off families.

"It took away social skills and many other things, so I've tried to get character building and risk incorporated in a safe way; they've been to Tallington Lakes tobogganing, for instance.

"There is still a tinge of caution, but it is really nice to see this level of interaction again."


Over 11,500 vouchers have been sent to families of children across Peterborough receiving free school meals.

The £30 vouchers – which have automatically been sent to eligible families – are a continuation of the scheme which operated in previous school holidays and half term breaks.

Two supermarket vouchers have been issued – the first by 23 July and the second by 13 August. The vouchers do not need to be used in a single shopping trip and once claimed will last for at least a year.

In addition to the summer vouchers, a further £10,000 has been given to CareZone in Peterborough to ensure they are able to support families with emergency supplies.

Additional funding has also been made to the direct award scheme, which enables local groups identified by the Peterborough hub to make direct food and cash awards to families in need. Since the direct award scheme was set up, over 150 of these awards have been made to families and individuals across Peterborough.

Over 1,200 parental queries about the scheme have already been dealt with, but any additional queries around accessing vouchers should be sent to winter.support@cambridgeshire.gov.uk.

Peterborough City Council's Community Hub is in place to be able to help families access further support.

Details can be found at www.peterborough.gov.uk/wintersupport and can be contacted on 0345 045 5219 from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

Cllr Lynne Ayres, Peterborough City Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, said: “I am delighted that so many vouchers have been sent out struggling families across Peterborough. These vouchers will still go a long way to helping children and their families cope with the ongoing impact of the pandemic and I know they will make a real difference to those families who need it most.”