3,600 local children aged 5-16 (who are eligible for free school meals) are set to enjoy a magical Winter Wonderland, which is coming to Harrow between 18-23rd December.
A further 1000 FREE spaces are available at locally run holiday clubs for families to book their child into during the Christmas holidays.
All holiday club activities can be viewed and booked via youngharrowfoundation.org. Winter Wonderland bookings are by invite only, via schools and local organisations.
The Department for Education (DfE) is funding local organisations to deliver the Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme, and the Winter Wonderland.
It follows a hugely successful summer, where over 4,000 children and young people attended local clubs with free meals included.
● 3,600 children aged 5-16 (eligible for free school meals) will enjoy a free festive Winter Wonderland
● Activities include Santa’s Grotto, a snowball igloo, rides & attractions. Each child will get a free meal and activity pack
● FREE winter holiday clubs are also available for children at youngharrowfoundation.org
● The activities are part of Harrow’s Holiday Activities & Food (HAF) programme
The Winter Wonderland is being run by Magna Groups Enterprises Limited, with support from Young Harrow Foundation and Harrow Council. Young Harrow Foundation is a charity that supports voluntary sector organisations working with children and young people across Harrow.
In addition to Winter Wonderland, 18 charities and holiday club providers will be offering a range of free activities and trips, providing free meals with each. This will include SEND-specialised programmes and a range of SEND inclusive opportunities.
Healthy eating resources will also be made available to parents, as well as access to food support services through HelpHarrow.org.
Winter Wonderland has been thoroughly risk assessed and approved by Public Health. The following measures are in place to mitigate the risk of COVID infections including: daily lateral flow testing of staff; cleaning and sanitisation of equipment; free individual water bottles for each child; and more.
Dan Burke, CEO of Young Harrow Foundation, said: “It has been an incredibly challenging year for both young people and parents across Harrow. Many families have been put in difficult positions around food poverty and knowing what to do with their children during the holiday periods.
“We hope those children will enjoy some magical moments at Harrow’s very own Winter Wonderland.
“During the summer we saw thousands of families benefit from the HAF programmes, and we’re happy to be able to continue this support over the Christmas holidays.
“This is all made possible through the incredible effort of the 19 organisations involved. They are working tirelessly to get a brilliant array of activities ready for all ages and abilities, and are looking forward to giving Harrow’s young people a Christmas holiday to remember!”
Paul Hewitt, Corporate Director of People Services at Harrow Council, said: “The HAF provision in Harrow has been a massive success this year. We are thrilled to see how the HAF funding from the Department for Education is being utilised at the grassroots level by local groups.
“We are excited to see how this continues into Winter, especially with the brand new Winter Wonderland. So many young people will be able to access activities, food, and more that they otherwise would not have had the opportunity to do.
“We hope that this will bring smiles to the faces of children and parents over the winter holidays across our borough.
“Given the recent government updates around COVID-19, the Public Health team at Harrow Council have been working closely with event organisers for Winter Wonderland to minimise the risk of COVID transmission. As a local authority, we are committed to reaching as many vulnerable children through the HAF programme over the festive period as possible, and our priority is to keep families safe.”
To book a place for winter programmes, find out more about HAF Programme and to follow its progress, please visit https://youngharrowfoundation.org/haf-programme.
Sign ups for Winter Wonderland will be done directly through schools.