Young people across North Yorkshire will benefit from an expansion of the hugely popular Holiday Activities and Food programme, known as FEAST, thanks to more than £1.37m in funding that has been provided to North Yorkshire Council. The Council has been allocated a total of £1,378,320 by the Department for Education for this year’s provision of Easter, summer and Christmas activities. To deliver the programme, the Council has awarded a coordination contract to North Yorkshire Together, which lasts until March 2025. Under the new contract, for the first time, activity providers can apply for grants to deliver activities for more than one holiday period at a time.
For Easter 2022, the programme received bids worth £135,000 from 47 projects. This year, demand has almost doubled, with 74 applications requesting a total of £294,000 of funding.
North Yorkshire Together’s strategic director, Max May, said: “It’s heartening that we have the opportunity to build on the momentum of what we’ve achieved with FEAST and to reach even more families this year.
“We’re really encouraged to see so many providers applying this holiday, making it our best Easter yet in terms of the breadth and number of activities on offer.”
North Yorkshire County Council’s executive member for education, learning and skills, Cllr Annabel Wilkinson, said she was delighted with the success of the programme.
“The FEAST programme offers a vitally important service to families, especially at a time when people are experiencing difficulties caused by the increasing cost of living. It is also important that young people have something productive and fun to do during school holidays,” she said.
“Feedback over the past couple of years by those who attend has been very good and most go on to attend multiple sessions; learning new skills, making new friends and growing in confidence around what they are able to achieve.”
FEAST is open to all children and young people in North Yorkshire. Those who receive benefits-related free school meals can attend for free and also receive a hot meal or packed lunch.
You can find more details about FEAST and North Yorkshire together at https://northyorkshiretogether.co.uk/