Supporting Derby children with free meals and activities

Published: 7 July 2022

Children engaged in holiday activities and food session.

Girls at a holiday activities and food session

Derby City Council is delighted to announce the launch of ‘Derby Summer Promise 2022’, with a city-wide programme providing an exciting summer of enriching and learning activities for children and young people eligible for free school meals.

The Derby Summer Promise is funded by the Department for Education Holiday Activities and Food programme (HAF) and delivered by local community partners developing a fantastic programme of support.

The Summer Promise, aims to provide activities, ranging from sports, to cooking and performing, to thousands of children in Derby who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals. Coordinated by Community Action Derby, 23 providers have been approved and will deliver fun activities that will enable young people to develop new skills, take part in creative and physical activities, learn about food and cooking and enjoy free nutritious meals each day.

This summer we have partners including Engineered Learning, Schools Out Club, St James Centre, The Enthusiasm Trust, YMCA, RCCG Solid Rock Derby, Pear Tree Playscheme, Safe and Sound, Genius Tuition, Vox Feminarum, Derbyshire Cricket Foundation, Community One, Fusion Scope, Derby Theatre, Premier Education, Derby County Community Trust and more.

It will also include a range of exciting summer activities for younger and older disabled people across the city, including horse riding, music, trips, gardening skills, engineering, arts and crafts all delivered by local organisations skilled and experienced in supporting this group of residents. 

Following the HAF delivery success in 2021, Derby City Council was awarded a further £1.3 per year for 2022/23, providing enriching activities to children and young people, school aged children from reception to year 11 (inclusive), particularly those who receive free school meals. The programme is currently delivered three times a year, over Easter, Summer and December, with an ambition to deliver an ‘all year round’ approach.  There is 10.5k children in Derby receiving free school meals and the aim of the HAF is to deliver enriching activities with free meals during the holiday period, engaging with all these young people.

Councillor Evonne Williams, Cabinet Member for Children and Schools said:

We’ve got some fantastic partners on board this summer to provide some great activities for our children to try, while ensuring they enjoy some nutritious meals and stay safe during the long holiday. We’re pleased that the Government has put funding in place for the next three years so we can continue to make this offer to all eligible families

Kim Harper, CEO for Community Action Derby said:

We are delighted to be working in partnership with Derby City Council for the second year running to ensure that a wide and diverse range of youth and community providers to have access funding and support from the Holiday Activity and Food Programme (HAF).  This will enable Derby to provide a fantastic 4-week summer programme of holiday clubs for children who are eligible for free school meals, ensuring that they have access to fun, physical activities and healthy food over the school holidays.

The Council’s Cabinet has accepted the Department for Education funding until 2024/25, but at the Wednesday 13 July meeting further acceptance is sought for setting the way for the Council to work in partnership with Community Action Derby for the next three years to deliver the HAF programme.

Information on how families can get involved in the Summer HAF programme can visit the Derby City Council web page, available at

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