Conservative minister to visit Norfolk school holiday clubs

Children’s minister Vicky Ford.

Children and families minister Vicky Ford. - Credit: Richard Townshend Photography

A government minister will be visiting two Norfolk holiday clubs next week.

Children and families minister Vicky Ford is set to come to St William's Primary School in Norwich and Little Plumstead Village Hall on Monday, August 9.

Summer holiday activities and food clubs were set up across the UK to help disadvantaged families during the Covid pandemic.

The expanded national programme, backed by up to £220m of government funding this year, ran at Easter and continues this summer, providing free face-to-face places as well as food for children eligible for free school meals.

Last autumn prime minister Boris Johnson was forced to make a U-turn on his decision to not carry on the scheme to continue free school meals to children from low-income families during school holidays after pressure from England football star Marcus Rashford.

The reversal came after mounting criticism, led by the sportsman, but also from charities, the opposition, media on both sides of the political divide and even some Conservative MPs.

And amid the criticism businesses and organisations from across Norfolk and the England offered their support, offering food parcels to people.

Vicky Ford, Conservative children and families minister, is due to visit two clubs in Norwich and the surrounding area on Monday, August 9 to talk about the project within Norfolk.

Most Read

Ahead of the visit, she said: “I am thrilled to champion our expanded Holiday Activities and Food programme in every region of England this summer.

"I’ve seen first-hand how this scheme benefits children from lower incomes, who may not get the same opportunities to take part in summer activities as others. It is enabling councils to provide important wellbeing and enrichment support, in a versatile way that best suits children and young people in their area. I look forward to seeing how the programme helps thousands more pupils throughout the summer holidays, and beyond.”

The expanded Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) clubs are supporting 151 local authorities across England and will continue to run during the Christmas holidays.

From September, the Department for Education’s National School Breakfast Programme will continue providing free breakfasts to children in the most disadvantaged areas in England.

A new contract with Family Action will run to 2023, worth up to £24 million, and will follow the current programme which has supported up to 2,450 schools.