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Free summer activities for children in West Sussex

PA Wire/PA Images Picture by: Stefan Rousseau

Football star Marcus Rashford MBE is backing a summer of fun and nutritious food for schoolchildren in West Sussex.

A Holiday Activities and Food programme is available for West Sussex children aged 4 to 16 who receive benefits-related free school meals.

West Sussex County Council is working with clubs and groups across the county to put on a wide range of fun-filled and free of charge activities over the summer holidays.

Parents and carers can search for events near them on the council's website and check if they are eligible.

The free of charge activities are available for children eligible for free school meals (means tested) only. Places are limited so families are advised to sign up as soon as they can.

The fun summer activities will provide:

  • healthy and nutritious meals for all children attending
  • education around healthy eating and preparing food
  • a safe space for children to interreact with others.

The national programme is funded by the Department for Education and supported by Marcus Rashford, part of the England football team that marched to the recent Euro 2020 final.

In a letter, Marcus said: “The holidays should be a time for every child to enjoy themselves rather than worrying about having enough to eat or how they can spend their free time.

“Each local programme will provide delicious, healthy meals, allow kids to get active, help them learn new things, make friends and have fun. And that is what the holidays are all about!”

In addition, free school meal-eligible families in West Sussex will receive a £15 food voucher per child, per week from the County Council’s Covid-19 relief fund to cover the 6-week school summer break.

Supermarket vouchers are being given out by schools in the same local scheme used to feed West Sussex families over recent school holidays during the pandemic.

Paul Wagstaff, Director of Education and Skills, said: “We are working with lots of different holiday clubs to offer West Sussex children a busy and active summer.

"It’s been a tough time for so many families so I hope parents and carers find activities their children will enjoy where they can meet new friends, learn some new skills and most of all have fun.”

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