HAF Fun Pompey

Holiday activities and food


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HAF Fun Pompey

Check out the videos below to see the action and good food at HAF Fun Pompey!

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What is HAF?

In November 2020 the government announced the significant expansion of its Holiday Activities and Food programme. Portsmouth City Council registered to participate and were delighted to be allocated funding by the Department for Education (DfE). The programme is designed to provide healthy food and enriching activities during the Easter, Summer and Christmas holidays to children who receive benefits-related free school meals.

It offers valuable support to families on lower incomes, giving them the opportunity to access rewarding and active activities alongside healthy meals over the school holidays.

Portsmouth have been hosting HAF Fun Pompey since 2021; funding is confirmed until 2024.

All local authorities have been given funding based on their benefits related free school meal numbers. For more information on this government programme go here. 

Marcus Rashford promoting the HAF programme

Your child may be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit – if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)

Families must have been granted benefits related free school meals to have a funded, free space on the HAF Fun Pompey programme. You can check your eligibility here and apply through  School meals – Portsmouth City Council

No, your child is not eligible if they receive the universal government free school meals that is open to all children in Years Reception through to Year 2.

The programme funding is for benefits related FSM children only but some of our providers are offering pay as you go places also.

Families may be eligible for tax free childcare or the childcare costs element of Universal Credit, through which families may be able to claim back up to 85% of their childcare costs.

More information is available here: www.gov.uk/help-with-childcare-costs/universal-credit

Some of the providers are Ofsted registered and can also take childcare vouchers for their pay as you go spaces if applicable.

Unfortunately, we cannot offer a free, funded space because we have been unable to match your eligibility with our data.

In 2023 HAF Fun Pompey has launched with a new booking system called Eequ. The booking system includes an automatic eligibility check with the benefits related free school meal data we receive from the Education team.

If you think this is an error and you have applied for benefits related free school meals, please email haf@portsmouthcc.gov.uk 

If you have booked on HAF Fun Pompey in 2021 and 2022 the provider(s) should have included a step in the booking where you declare you are benefits related free school meal eligible. Apologies if this has not been clear in the past, this is one reason we are moving towards a centralised booking system that can perform these checks. Also, it may be your circumstances have changed and you are no longer eligible.

The Department for Education fund all local authorities to give benefits related free school meal families access to free holiday activities and nutritious food. In Portsmouth the programme is called HAF Fun Pompey.

Here is some government guidance: Holiday activities and food programme 2023 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Here is a link for our programme in Portsmouth: HAF Fun Pompey – PYC Portsmouth

The funding does not cover the universal free school meal offer – it is for benefits related free school meals. All children in years Reception to Year 2 receive the universal free school meals and do not qualify if they have not applied for the benefits related free school meals.

The Department for Education allow a certain amount to fund non free school meal families who are deemed vulnerable, and we work closely with professional services to manage these referrals; this can include schools, family safeguarding teams, family hubs, healthcare and social workers, SENCOs etc.

Our HAF programme is funded for families living in PO1-PO6 and children/young people attending schools in Portsmouth. If you live outside of these postcode areas please check your Local Authorities HAF programme for instance Hampshire or Southampton

Please email haf@portsmouthcc.gov.uk and we will do our best to help.

HAF Pay As You Go

Looking for activities? Need childcare during the school holidays?

During school holidays some of our HAF providers offer pay as you go spaces throughout the city.

Please note providers choose their own booking system to manage pay as you go spaces.

There are other providers, who are not hosting HAF Fun Pompey activities through Department for Education funding, who also offer pay as you go activities in the school holidays.