What Is HAF?
The holiday activities and food program is in place to support lots of children, by giving them access to free school meals during the holiday periods. Many low-income families struggle during the holidays as their less likely to access organised activities and they are more likely to experience "unhealthy holidays" with physical activity and nutrition. With the funding of local authorities, uSports is able to offer free spaces onto most of our holiday camps which also includes a packed lunch for children who have free school-meals.
The Benefits of HAF At Our Camps
In the pursuit of creating a nurturing and enriching environment for primary school-aged children, the provision of free school meals at our camps emerges as a fundamental component. Beyond the immediate satisfaction of hunger, this initiative offers a myriad of benefits that extend to academic performance, overall well-being, and the development of healthy habits, especially for those children who may not have access to an abundance of food at home. In this blog post, we will delve into the manifold advantages of ensuring that every child has access to nutritious meals during their time at camp.
Improved Academic Performance:
Providing free school meals at our camps ensures that every child has a nutritional lunch that day. There's numerous studies which proves that there's a correlation between proper nutrition and academic achievement. All the nutrients which are found in balanced meals, such as proteins, vitamins and minerals improve a persons concentration and focus which is crucial for learning new experiences.
Enhanced Physical Health:
By offering free spaces on to most of our camps, we are giving children the opportunity participate in sports which helps keep them fit and healthy. This also helps give more children a positive experience in sports. Access to HAF food at our camps means that children receive the necessary nutrients to support their overall health, such as: the development of strong bones, muscles and immune systems. We believe that this program helps contribute to a positive camp experience that encourages the participation in various activities, which promotes a healthy and active lifestyle.
Children who are given free spaces onto camp, get given the opportunity to try new things and socialise with new people outside of school. The whole provisions create a positive environment of equality and inclusivity in our camps. Every child who attends camp is able to be involved in a shared meal which promotes a sense of community during lunch time. Children are able to socialise with others who may be in the same boat which helps them feel like they are not alone.
Establishing Healthy Eating Habits:
Childhood is a critical period for the formation of lifelong habits, including dietary habits. By offering nutritious meals at our camps, we have the opportunity to expose children to a variety of wholesome foods and educate them about the importance of balanced nutrition. Children are able to grow their confidence when it comes to trying new foods. This is a good start to a lifetime of making healthy choices, which reduces the risk of long-term health issues related to poor diet.
Elevating Emotional Well-being:
Providing free school meals ensures that each child experiences camp with a sense of security and comfort, that they have a lunch provided for them. A well-nourished child, regardless of their home situation, is more likely to exhibit positive social behaviors, form strong interpersonal connections, and develop resilience in the face of challenges.
Which Of Our Camps Offer HAF Spaces?
We run multiple camps in Woodley throughout the holidays and In Spencers Wood. All of these camps are funded by the council and offer HAF spaces.
Woodford Park 3G - Football Camp
Southlake Primary School - Multi-Sports Camp
Lambs Lane Primary School - Multi-Sports Camp
Claycots Primary School - Football & Multi-Sports Camp
We run a few camps in the Reading Borough Council, such as in Caversham, Whitley and Reading.
Thameside Primary School - Football & Multi-Sports Camp
Geoffrey Fields Junior School - Multi-Sports Camp
New Town Primary School - Multi-Sports Camp
We run 3 different camps in Bracknell which are all at the same venue.
Garth Hill College - Teens Football Camp
Garth Hill College - Multi-Sports Camp
Garth Hill College - Football Camp
We currently have two venues in Maidenhead and one camp in Windsor.
Hilltop First School - Multi-Sports Camp
St Luke's Primary School - Multi-Sports Camp
Cox Green Leisure Centre - Football Camp
We have a new camp running in our Bristol partnership which has been accepted by the council to allow free HAF spaces.
Ashton Vale Primary School - Multi-Sports Camp
We are also looking to get a new camp in Welywn Garden City and Hatfield, our newest partnership, which is supported by HAF.
In conclusion, the benefits of providing free spaces and lunches at our camps for children, particularly those who may not have access to a lot of food at home, extend far beyond addressing basic nutritional needs. By nourishing their bodies and minds, we contribute to their academic success, physical health, social inclusivity, and the establishment of lifelong healthy habits. The provision of free school meals at our camps becomes a cornerstone in the creation of an environment where every child, regardless of their circumstances, can thrive, learn, and build lasting memories.