Information for Families

School holidays can be pressure points for many families. In response, the Department for Education is providing local authorities with funding to coordinate a holiday programme combining healthy food and enriching activities for eligible children and young people.

The Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme aims to reduce the opportunity gap and offer eligible children the chance to take part in fun and free school holiday activities. You can find out more about HAF in a brilliant video starring Marcus Rashford MBE below.

Or jump straight to our Frequently Asked Questions below
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North Yorkshire Council has commissioned North Yorkshire Together, a partnership between Rural Arts, North Yorkshire Sport and North Yorkshire Youth, as lead provider for HAF in North Yorkshire, which is called FEAST: ‘Food, Entertainment, Arts and Sport – Together’.

School holiday activities are available to all children and young people in North Yorkshire, and are free to eligible children and young people.

There’s also video workshops and downloadable activities that all families can enjoy – whether it’s the holidays or not!

Frequently Asked Questions

FEAST is all about food, entertainment, arts and sport and being together – which spells out FEAST!

Eligible children and young people in North Yorkshire can book onto our school holiday activities for free, where each day they’ll also receive a free hot meal or packed lunch. FEAST runs at Easter, Summer and Christmas.

There are loads of activities to get involved in across the county, and they’re absolutely free for eligible children and young people.

FEAST is the Holiday Activities and Food programme for North Yorkshire, funded by the Department for Education. 

FEAST is a Department for Education (DfE) Holiday Activities and Food programme. The DfE has designed this programme specifically to support those on benefits-related Free School Meals.

All children and young people receiving benefits-related Free School Meals are automatically eligible for FEAST.

Children and young people who are not on benefits-related Free School Meals but who face significant financial and/or other disadvantage can be made eligible by exception by their school. This might include, for example, young carers, refugees and asylum seekers and those with SEND.

Apart from receiving benefits-related Free School Meals, there are no criteria that guarantee a child/young person is eligible for FEAST, and there is no automatic entitlement to eligibility based on any particular experience, including those examples listed above.

There are also limits on how many non-benefits related Free School Meal children/young people can be made eligible, to ensure that the focus of the programme remains on the Department for Education’s key audience: those on benefits-related Free School Meals.

If you believe your child should be made eligible for FEAST, please contact their school to request this. Individual schools have been given the responsibility to make additional children eligible by exception.

Schools are also asked to allocate a voucher to any child/young person that North Yorkshire Together has directly allocated a voucher to in a previous holiday period, if they’d still be eligible under the eligibility criteria.

If your child does not attend school, please email hello@northyorkshiretogether.co.uk confirming this and the reason for their eligibility.

What if I’m not eligible for a free place – can I pay to attend a FEAST activity?

FEAST is open to all children and young people across North Yorkshire, and many of our providers also offer paid places alongside their free FEAST spaces. 

Take a look at the holiday activities available in our activity finder page. To book a paid place, please contact the provider directly via the contact details supplied in their listing. 

Parents and guardians of children and young people who are eligible for a free FEAST place will receive a unique electronic voucher for each holiday period (Easter, Summer and Christmas).

This will be sent by schools via an email or text, through an online platform called HolidayActivities. For Summer 2024, vouchers will be sent on Monday 17th June

For more information on how to use your voucher to book a free place see the section below titled ‘How do I book a free place on a FEAST activity?’

If your child is eligible and you don’t receive a voucher for a free FEAST place (and the date above has passed), please contact your school. Each school is individually responsible for allocating FEAST vouchers to eligible children and young people.

If your child does not attend school, please email hello@northyorkshiretogether.co.uk confirming this, their date of birth, a primary contact’s email and phone number, and the reason for their eligibility.

If receiving an email or text is not accessible to you, please speak to your school who can provide you with your voucher in another way (e.g. print it off, tell you it over the phone).

If your child is eligible and you don’t have your voucher by the end of Monday 17th June, please contact your school. Each school is individually responsible for allocating FEAST vouchers to eligible children and young people.

If your school has yet to do this, please contact them to ask they complete the process to allow your child / young person to access free holiday activities and food.

We cannot control whether the school distributes their vouchers, but if you email support@holidayactivities.com, the team can encourage the school to do so at their earliest convenience.

Schools have been asked that any pupil who has previously been made eligible for FEAST by North Yorkshire Together in previous holiday periods is allocated a voucher, if they’d still be eligible under the eligibility criteria.

If you are eligible for a free FEAST place and don’t yet have a voucher, activity providers are asked to, where possible, accept your booking on the basis that you will provide them with a valid voucher number before the activity takes place

Please note: In summer 2023, we changed the way we administer free FEAST places. Instead of sending codes via letters to children and young people, parents and guardians will receive a voucher in an email or text from their school, through an online system called HolidayActivities. The vouchers for Summer 2024 will be issued on Monday 17th June.

If you have been allocated a FEAST voucher for the current holiday period and have already claimed it via HolidayActivities – by clicking the link in the email or text – you should:

  1. Log in to app.holidayactivities.com using the email address or social login you first accessed the platform with,
  2. Your voucher code for the current holiday period will be in your account (at the top, under your child’s name and school).

If you have been allocated a FEAST voucher for the current holiday period and have NOT already claimed it via HolidayActivities, you can:

  1. Search your emails or texts for ‘HolidayActivities’ to see if it is in your inbox or junk email folder
  2. Ask your school to provide you with a copy. If the school needs help with this, they can be directed to the instructions on our Schools FAQ page. If it is the school holidays, please email hello@northyorkshiretogether.co.uk

Please note that, once you have claimed your voucher, you do not need to know the 16-digits when making bookings directly on the HolidayActivities platform/ However, you should be asked for it if you are making bookings in person, over the phone or via email.

Free FEAST places are booked and managed through an online platform called HolidayActivities.

Watch our step-by-step guide on how to redeem your FEAST vouchers and request a free place.

Alternatively, follow these steps (access the full parent guide here):

    1. If eligible, you will receive an email or text message from HolidayActivities.com – please click on the link to view your voucher.
      • Please note: If you have more than one child, you will receive multiple vouchers via email or text message. Follow all 8 steps listed here for the first child. For the next child(ren), click the link in the text/email sent to you, and it will add them to the account already set up.
    2. If you have not used HolidayActivities before, you’ll need to create an account. This can be done easily by providing your email address, or clicking to log in via Apple or Google. If you sign up via email, you will not have a password. You will be emailed a unique link each time you go to log in.
    1. When signing up, you’ll be asked to enter your name, email and phone number. Then click ‘save details’.
    1. The HolidayActivities voucher that you were emailed will be linked to you account and show the available credits you have to use. You can then click on the arrow to see the available activities.screen shot feast holiday activity voucher
    1. You will be asked to add the child’s age, this is to ensure you only see activities suitable to your child’s age group.
  • You can now browse all available activities. Click ‘View activity’ to see photos, available dates and read a short description.
  • When you’re ready to book, click on the ‘Select date’ button. Please note that an activity showing a waiting list does not always mean that an activity is full – please request a place and you should receive a notification from Holiday Activities if your place is confirmed.
  • Complete the parent details, child details and a second emergency contact. These details will be remembered to make future bookings easier. Confirm you have read and understood the terms and conditions. Once you select ‘Complete booking’, you’ll receive a confirmation email notifying you that your booking is either confirmed or awaiting approval.

Please note that in order to ensure that a fair distribution across of FEAST places across families, we ask activity providers to wait a number of days after activities are launched before accepting any bookings. This means there may be some time between your request and finding out whether you have a place. Having requested a place does not mean you will necessarily be allocated one, as activity providers try to balance participation across the programme.

  • You can now return to the activity and book more dates for your child, return to your vouchers or manage and cancel your bookings.

If you have any issues in creating an account, making a booking or managing your booking, please contact the HolidayActivities team on support@holidayactivities.com

Please note, the HolidayActivities team are not who is delivering the activity and therefore cannot provide more information about the activities, or accept a booking (if it is pending).

Parents/guardians will receive a voucher for each child, sent by schools individually via an email or text through HolidayActivties – an online platform.

To request a place, click the link provided in any voucher you received – this will take you to the HolidayActivities platform. Once there, you’ll be invited to sign up for, or log in to, your account. Follow the instructions to set up this account, and the first voucher will be added automatically.

Then return to your email and click the voucher link(s) in any other emails you have received from HolidayActivities. Doing so will add these vouchers to the account you have already created.

For help with your account or making and managing your booking on HolidayActivities, email support@holidayactivities.com or call 01638 438311. 

To ensure that a wide range of families get to take part in FEAST, we ask providers to wait a number of days after vouchers are issued before accepting any bookings. This means there may be some time between your request and finding out whether you have been accepted.

An activity showing a waiting list does not always mean that an activity is full – please request a place and you should receive a notification from Holiday Activities if your place is confirmed.

You will receive notification from HolidayActivities whether you have been allocated a place or not.

To ensure that a wide range of families get to take part in FEAST, we ask providers to wait a number of days after vouchers are issued before accepting any bookings. This means there may be some time between your request and finding out whether you have been accepted.

An activity showing a waiting list does not always mean that an activity is full – please request a place and you should receive a notification from Holiday Activities if your place is confirmed.

We understand it’s disappointing if you’re not allocated a place on the activity you wanted. We really appreciate that you want to take part in FEAST. While we try to involve as many children and young people as possible, there are occasions where activity providers cannot allocate a place to everyone who requests one, due to high demand and the limited number of places we can make available using our funding from the Department of Education.

We encourage you to explore alternative FEAST activities on offer. Our team is here to assist you in finding suitable options that may still be available. If you have questions or need any help, please contact us at hello@northyorkshiretogether.co.uk

There are also a number of FEAST activities available to enjoy, including our video workshops and downloadable activity packs.

You should join the waiting list for the activity using HolidayActivities.

Often places become available on activities that were previously fully booked, and this is the best way to make sure you get to take part in the activities you want.

Please note than an activity showing a waiting list does not always mean that an activity is full. To ensure that a wide range of families get to take part in FEAST, we ask providers to wait a number of days after vouchers are issued before accepting any bookings. This means there may be some time between your request and finding out whether you have been accepted. Please request a place and you should receive a notification from Holiday Activities if your place is confirmed.

 

If you or someone you know isn’t able to use the online platform HolidayActivities to request a place, please contact the activity provider directly.

We have a printable version of our activity finder, with provider contact details.

Whilst we encourage the use of HolidayActivities wherever possible, providers have been instructed to take bookings in person, over the phone or via email where needed. To make a free booking, you’ll need to share your 16-digit voucher number with the provider.

If you don’t have your voucher number, please contact your school. Should the school be unable to help, please contact hello@northyorkshiretogether.co.uk

If you are eligible for a free FEAST place and don’t yet have a voucher, activity providers are asked to, where possible, accept your booking on the basis that you will provide them with a valid voucher number before the activity takes place. 

FEAST is open to all children and young people across North Yorkshire, and many of our providers offer paid places alongside their free FEAST spaces. 

Take a look at the holiday activities available in our activity finder page or download our printable version. To book a paid place, please contact the provider directly via the contact details supplied in their listing. 

If you booked a place on a FEAST activity via HolidayActivities, you can also use that platform to cancel your place. Go to app.holidayactivities.com and log in to cancel your place. Please note this is not immediate, and we request that you give as much notice as possible. (As this is not immediate, it means that this ‘credit’ will not be available to re-use immediately.)

If you booked outside of HolidayActivities (e.g. in person, on the phone or via email), please contact the provider directly via telephone to cancel your place.

FEAST has limited places and funding. If you can no longer attend activities, you MUST let the organiser know.

If you do not let the organiser know you cannot attend, another child misses out on food and activity for this day. If you repeatedly fail to let the organiser know, you may lose ALL voucher credits and bookings for the period.

Yes. Some of the activities we offer are specifically for SEND children, and many others are inclusive for those children.

Find out what’s on in your area using our activity finder, or by logging onto HolidayActivities, and use the search filters to see which are suitable for your child. If you have any questions, please contact the provider directly using the details in their listing. 

There’s lots happening across the county and we hope you can find an activity near to where you live.

Websites like Traveline and Google Maps can help to plan journeys by car, public transport or walking.

If there are no activities close to you, and you don’t have access to transport, you can register to request assistance with transport.

We also have a range of Video Workshops and Downloadable Activities.

Most children and young people will receive their voucher directly from their school. However, if you’re supporting a child or young person you feel should be eligible for a free FEAST place, and they don’t receive a voucher, you can:

  • Speak to the family and ask them to contact their school to request the voucher
  • If you don’t have a relationship with the family, speak to the school directly to request the voucher on the child’s behalf
  • If you aren’t able to contact the school, or they can’t help, contact hello@northyorkshiretogether.co.uk 

Yes. A child or young person who is electively home educated (EHE) or who is registered with a school but not currently attending may be eligible for a FEAST voucher if they live in North Yorkshire and:

  • would receive benefits-related Free School Meals if they attended school, or
  • face significant financial and/or other disadvantage

If your child/young person would be eligible for FEAST and is still on school roll (e.g. they are registered at the school but for whatever reason are not currently attending), please contact the school to request they issue you a FEAST voucher via their HolidayActivities account.

If your child is electively home educated, or is no longer on school roll, to enquire about eligibility and receive a FEAST voucher, please contact hello@northyorkshiretogether.co.uk confirming:

  • the child’s name
  • the child’s date of birth
  • the first name and surname for a primary parent/guardian
  • an email address for a primary parent/guardian
  • a mobile number for a primary parent/guardian
  • that the child is not currently attending school
  • that the child would be eligible under the criteria of the programme

For Summer 2024, the Department for Education has funded 16 four-hour activities for each eligible child or young person. To ensure families in North Yorkshire can take part in as many activities as possible, North Yorkshire Together is offering 18 credits to each eligible child or young person.

As activities are defined as four hours long by the Department for Education, you may sometimes need to use two credits to book onto one full day of activity.

If your child is eligible, you will receive a voucher for your 18 credits via email/text from HolidayActivities, an online platform where you can book your activities. For more information on how to use your voucher and request/manage your bookings, see the relevant section of this FAQ page.

You can translate this website by clicking the button in the bottom left of every screen. You can also download translated information about FEAST using the links below.

The activities, events and experiences are varied and there’s something for everyone. There are art and music activities to help you get creative, and sport sessions to help you keep moving.

Take a look at our Activity Finder page or our downloadable listings to see all the activities you can book onto.

We also have a range of Video Workshops and Downloadable Activities pages.

Children attending the activity sessions will receive at least one meal. These meals meet school food standards and wherever possible are served hot. Many providers offer more than one meal and/or snacks throughout the day. The provider you book with will be able to let you know what food will be provided at their sessions.

Providers are required to meet dietary, cultural and other food requirements. 

You should not be asked to bring your own food to any activities.

The provider you book with will be able to let you know what to take on the day. Make sure you have a chat with them if you have any questions about what to bring.

If you can’t make it to any events or activities in person, check out our video workshops and downloadable activities

North Yorkshire Council has commissioned North Yorkshire Together, a partnership between Rural Arts, North Yorkshire Sport and North Yorkshire Youth, to coordinate the programme which is being branded as FEAST.

North Yorkshire Together welcomes grant applications from activity providers across the county to deliver activities. We work with around 100 providers every holiday period.

The Department for Education has given North Yorkshire Council funding to deliver FEAST.

You can contact North Yorkshire Together at hello@northyorkshiretogether.co.uk.

If you have a question about a specific activity or provider please contact them direct using the information on the activity finder.

In an emergency, you should call 999.

Every provider taking part in FEAST has provided North Yorkshire Together with a copy of their safeguarding policy and insurance details, and has completed our Safeguarding Checklist.

If you have any concerns about the safety or welfare of a young person taking part in FEAST, you should telephone 0300 131 2 131 or email children&families@northyorks.gov.uk. More information can be found at https://www.safeguardingchildren.co.uk/about-us/worried-about-a-child/

You can find out more about eligibility for free school meals at www.northyorks.gov.uk/free-school-meals

Please note: the FEAST programme is only eligible to children receiving benefits-related Free School Meals. Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 who are entitled to Free School Meals under the Universal Infant Free School Meal Scheme are not automatically eligible.

Guidance on FEAST eligibility for children and young people who face disadvantage but are not on benefits-related free school meals is included in these FAQs.

If you get certain benefits, your child could also qualify for free school meals during all school years. To qualify you must be receiving:

  • Universal Credit, provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400, as assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent assessment periods (£616.67 per month)
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • support under part six of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guarantee element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit, provided you are also not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual household gross income that does not exceed £16,190 (as assessed by HMRC)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on, paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit

Please note that contributions-based benefits, including contribution-related Jobseekers’ Allowance do not entitle you to claim free school meals. 

For more information and to apply please go to https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/free-school-meals

The Department for Work and Pensions has recently given North Yorshire Council funding to make sure families who might be struggling, and feeling the financial pressures of paying their bills, get additional help.

The Household Support Fund will see supermarket e-vouchers provided to people in North Yorkshire who receive means-tested council tax support or reduction and have a child under the age of 19 living at home.

People who are eligible can claim their e-voucher payment of £250 to pay for food and other essentials over the coming months and we have written to people who are eligible with information about how to claim.

Find more information about the Household Support Fund, and other sources of financial support, at www.northyorks.gov.uk/householdsupportfund

No, the FEAST programme does not distribute any vouchers with monetary value, or cash, credit,  bank transfers etc.

The Department for Education funding for the FEAST programme is only allowed to be spent providing eligible children with fun and enriching activities over the school holidays, where free food is also distributed.

If you need financial support, please see the below funds to see if you are eligible or get in touch with North Yorkshire Council or the Citizens Advice Bureau.

https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/household-support-fund

https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/local-assistance-fund

https://www.warmandwell.org.uk/

You can find information about support schemes and organisations which may be able to help on the North Yorkshire Council cost of living support page.

The Household Support Fund was set up by the Government to help people who are struggling with the increase in living costs and feeling the financial pressure of paying their bills. You’ll find more information about the Household Support Fund in North Yorkshire at the Household Support Fund page.

If you’re not eligible for the Household Support Fund but you are struggling to pay for food, energy and other essentials you may be able to get other financial support through schemes such as the North Yorkshire Local Assistance Fund (NYLAF) and a fund managed by North Yorkshire Citizens Advice and Law Centre that helps people struggling to pay their energy bills.

The North Yorkshire Council cost of living support page also contains advice on money, debt, benefit entitlement, free school meals and childcare costs as well as information about free Wi-Fi, digital support, travel and transport. The page also has information about energy saving, foodbanks and community-based support including Warm Welcome Spaces and local schemes depending on where you live.

North Yorkshire Citizen’s Advice and Law Centre provide free, confidential and impartial advice to help people find a way forward with whatever problems they face, including money and benefits. You can get advice in person, over the phone, on a web chat or by email by contacting North Yorkshire Citizen’s Advice and Law Centre direct.

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