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 Published On: 09 Sep, 2019

Holiday Activities and Food Programme Evaluation Summer 2019

Junior Jam have now finished working on the Holiday Hunger Project, also known as, Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAFP). This project was funded by the Department of Education and in Bradford the funding was disseminated through TLG to local schools. Junior Jam ran holiday clubs for 18 Bradford primary schools in the program over the Summer holidays in 2019, in total 38 clubs ran – typically Monday to Friday 10-3pm. Most clubs were for 35 participants with several having capacity for 45 students in Y1-Y6.

Prior to the clubs running, Junior Jam helped the schools put their funding bids together, designed, produced and delivered their flyers, provided assemblies to market the holiday clubs, ran an online recruitment system to sign up the students and ensured that all clubs were filled prior to the clubs running. Priority was given to Free School Meal Children (FSM) when booking on to the clubs.

At the holiday clubs the young people did a variety of activities. The typical format for the day was registration and dodge ball first thing, followed by an activity for 50mins, a second activity for 50mins, lunch time for 1hour which included a healthy packed lunch – which Junior Jam provided, afternoon registration and more dodge ball, an afternoon activity for 55mins, a second afternoon activity and then collection by parents. At any given time 2 activities ran at the same time so we could have an older group and a young group who rotated once in the morning and once in the afternoon. On the last day children were given feedback forms and a certificate to take home. The activities at the clubs included Athletics, Football, Dodge Ball, Quick Cricket, Rounders, Street Dance, Drama, Boxercise, African Drumming, Samba Drumming, Music Production on iPads, Movie Making on iPads, Photography on iPads, Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) and a Healthy Lifestyles workshop.

These activities were really well received by the children, the mix of sports and creative subjects allowed the children to experience new things and also enjoy what they already liked. The Healthy Lifestyle workshop worked well too and was also backed up with worksheets so we could see the children had understood the lesson. We provided Healthy lunches at the holiday club, these consisted of a high protein sandwich (all filling were a Halal), fruit drink, fruit, a vegetable, a yoghurt and a baked good such as a biscuit. Whilst most children enjoyed the lunch provision, some more fussy eaters did not like all the sandwich fillings.

From reading the children’s written feedback the children loved the clubs! Parents commented at collection time that the children enjoyed them and sending them here helped them a great deal. I feel the schools that Junior Jam got to work with were geographically spread out across the district and we got to work with a wide range of young people. The focus of this project was to target FSM children – at signup approximately 60% of the children were on Free School Meals (FSM). Attendance at the clubs was high with approximately 86% of the spaces actually been filled, however 99.5% were filled at sign up. Junior Jam also called parents where students who did not attend and topped up from the waiting list. Clubs who only invited children from their schools had better attendance rates. Eid also affected attendance at some schools on the 12th and 13th August.

If we are lucky enough to run a similar project again we’d like the schools to have more notice of the funding and therefore more chance to complete their bids, target the most in need children and schedule the clubs – as building work during Summer is an issue. This would in turn give us more time to recruit participants; we also had a very short amount of time to turn around the marketing, set up the online recruitment and contract our staff for additional Summer work. We have at times, been asked to go beyond the scope our contract for the benefit of the clubs – we have not necessarily agreed with the manner this has been presented to us. I feel the application form and guidance notes require reviewing and think electronic submissions and uploading of documents would improve efficiency and acuraccy from an admin perspective. I feel this project ran smoothly due to our experience, flexibility and speed. I do not believe another provider could have provided what we did, in the time frame to such high standards. I also feel that our policies and our implementation of them are the reason high Safeguarding standards were upheld.

The brief was the funding was for “projects that address holiday hunger in Bradford district through food provision and promoting activities for school-aged children and young people”. We 100% delivered on the activity side of things and all the children were given a packed lunch. However, I feel the majority of attendees would have received lunch without us – albeit maybe not a healthy one. I feel that to truly have reached the most needy children Free School Meals (FSM) should not have been the measure used. I feel Pupil Premium would have been more accurate if need was the requirement. We should have also been asked to target Looked After Children and the schools should have specifically targeted children who have a protective order – with such children been collected from home. I feel a free packed lunch provided should have been optional and a tick box on the booking form, as the lunches ordered (and their cost) was at times a limiting factor in terms of inviting additional participants and overfilling clubs with low attendance. Also there should have been clearer instructions on what FSM eligibility is as all reception, Y1 and Y2 children receive free school meals under Universal Free School Meals, therefore does that mean all of them should have received priority on to these clubs?

Junior Jam have completed the Holiday Activities and Food Programme Data sheets on behalf of the schools and returned them, however the actual forms themselves were not user friendly. I believe online surveys were to be completed by parents and participants, however due to the mannor in which this was done we were not issued them.

We are now in the process of issuing schools their own holiday club reports and hope to work with them in future. We really enjoyed all the clubs which we ran and working with so many caring Bradford Primary Schools. We hope that we are able to work on a similar project in the future and are able to incorporate what we learnt here to make any future project be an even greater success.

For a more detailed report on this project and greater operational analysis email rachel@juniorjam.co.uk 

To book a Junior Jam holiday club visit https://www.juniorjam.co.uk/club/ 

For more info on the HAFP visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/free-meals-and-activities-for-50000-children-over-2019-summer-holidays 


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