What is HAF?

The Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme is a Department for Education (DfE) funded programme for children and young people from Reception to Year 11, eligible for benefits related Free School Meals (FSM). ​

The programme offers children and young people free access to a range of physical and creative activities, including some specialist SEND provisions. It takes place during the Spring, Summer and Winter school holidays and includes a free nutritious meal each day.​

Camden Council has received funding from the DfE to deliver the HAF programme in the borough – working in partnership with the Young Camden Foundation.

What is the focus of the programme?

  • Encouraging children and young people to make healthy food choices.​
  • Encouraging physical activity.​
  • Encouraging participation in stimulating activities that promote resilience, character development, and well-being, as well as broader educational achievement.​
  • Ensuring safety and reducing social isolation.​
  • Improving knowledge of health and nutrition.​
  • Increasing engagement with school and local services.

The Summer HAF programme will run from 25th July - 30th August 2024. Click below to book.


In 2023, our key stats included:

Money awarded to 43 holiday hubs
Children & Young People reached in Spring
Children & Young People reached in Summer
Children & Young People reached in Winter

Frequently asked questions

  • Who is the programme for?

    To qualify for a free place in the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme, you have to meet the following criteria:​

    • The child / young person must be of school age – from Reception up to Year 11​
    • The child/young person must be living and/or attending school in Camden​
    • The child must be in receipt of benefits tested Free School Meals*​
    • *This programme is primarily aimed at those eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) benefits related - but not exclusively as we aim to include any child experiencing economic and social disadvantage.
  • Where do I check if I'm eligible for Free School Meals, benefits related?

    Check if your child can get free school meals in England and find out how to apply on your local authority’s website.

  • How to send a booking request?

    Go to Young Camden Foundation to find activities.

  • Who manages my booking request?

    We give funding to several organisations each school holiday for them to become a HAF provider. We publish their HAF activities on our website to centralise all the activities available and to make it easy for people to see what's available to book in Camden but we don't run the activities ourselves, and therefore we don't manage the bookings or make decisions about the spaces available, the HAF provider does.

  • How to cancel my bookings?​

    Please contact your HAF provider.

  • What happens if my child/children don't go to the activity?

    If possible, please contact the HAF organiser if your child/children can't attend the HAF activities and note that the HAF organiser has a right to cancel your entire booking if your child/children don't go to the HAF activities in the first few days.

  • What to do when I don’t get a response from the HAF organiser?​

    When you send a booking request through our website, the HAF organiser receives an email with your information. Please contact them directly if you don’t hear from them in 5 working days.

  • When can I book HAF activities?

    There are multiple organisations in Camden that receive funding to run their own HAF programme during the Spring, Summer and Winter holidays. We publish their programmes on our website a few weeks before the programme starts (mid-March, beginning of July and beginning of Dec approx.)

  • Can I book a place even though I'm not eligible for Free School Meals?
    • This programme is primarily aimed at those eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) benefits related - but not exclusively as we aim to include any child experiencing economic and social disadvantage.​
    • If your child/children don’t qualify for FSM but you want to enquire about the possibility of booking a place, please contact the HAF organiser directly. ​
    • Please note that this is a free provision for children and young people from Reception to Year 11, living and/or going to school in Camden
  • Can my child attend more than one HAF organiser per school holidays?
    • No. You need to choose one HAF organiser per school holiday and it can be different each time. ​
    • You can cancel an existing booking request by contacting the organiser and then proceed to send another booking request to another organisation.​
    • Please note that it might be difficult during the Winter and Spring school holidays due to the limited number of days of activity sessions our HAF organisers can offer.
  • What happens if my child has a dietary requirement/allergy?
    • Our HAF organisers can accommodate your requirements. Please let them know when you submit your booking request and/or in other communications.​
  • Can my child bring a packed lunch?

    Yes, your child/children and bring their packed lunch but please let the HAF organiser know. Even though your child/children bring their packed lunch they are still entitled to a free healthy meal a day during the HAF activities.

  • How HAF providers cater for children with SEND?

    We fund a number of SEND specialist organisations to run programmes for children with complex SEND needs and disabilities. Many of the providers also have experience and training to support children with SEND. Please get in touch with the HAF provider directly to discuss your child’s individual needs

  • Can my booking request be declined?
    • Yes. HAF organisers can decline a booking request for various reasons. They will contact you if they need further information but usually, they can decline a booking request if the activity is fully booked, accommodate your needs, etc. Contact the organisation directly if you have any questions.​
  • If you are a professional, how can you make a referral for a child?

    If you are a professional that works with vulnerable children and wants to book a HAF activity on their behalf or you have any questions about the programme, please contact our HAF Manager, sophie@youngcamdenfoundation.org.uk

  • How to apply for funding to help deliver HAF
    • If you're an activity or food provider interested in being part of Camden’s HAF programme, send an email to info@youngcamdenfoundation.org.uk ​
    • Interested organisations will be added to the provider distribution list for all future HAF funding opportunities. ​

Absolutely love everything about the HAF program. It’s helped me so much as a single parent. I can leave my children here while I work knowing they are safe and having fun while having a healthy meal. Thank you.

Parent, Winter 2023 HAF