Essex ActivAte is the name for the Holiday Activity and Food (#HAF2022) programme across Essex, run by Active Essex, Essex County Council and Thurrock Council, on behalf of the Department for Education. Additional funding is provided by Essex County Council to extend the offer to low income working families who also require support during the school holidays. This programme takes place during the Easter, Summer and Winter holidays. Where possible, Essex County Council and Basildon Borough Council provide additional support families during the Half Terms as well.

The programme aims to support the physical and mental wellbeing of primary and secondary school children, through engagement in a wide variety of activities, and provision of a nutritious, school standard meal.

Working with a network of trusted local delivery partners, Active Essex run these FREE face to face clubs during the school holidays for children and young people who are eligible for benefits based free school meals, as well as those from low income working families who would benefit from this extra support. We are also able to extend this support to children and young people who may be vulnerable to inactivity or social isolation, on a case by case basis, please speak to the club provider to discuss if this is an option.

Each Essex ActivAte club will deliver a variety of fun physical and enrichment activities, fun food education and a nutritious meal. Alongside this you can access family support and fun activities to keep children active and entertained at home. Check out our Family Support page below to get started!

Healthy Start Vouchers for Essex Families

Get help to buy food and milk
(the Healthy Start scheme)

What is Healthy Start?
If you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, you may be entitled to get help to buy healthy food and milk.

If you’re eligible, you’ll be sent a Healthy Start card with money on it that you can use in some UK shops. We’ll add your benefit onto this card every 4 weeks.

You can use your card to buy:

  • plain liquid cow’s milk
  • fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables
  • fresh, dried, and tinned pulses
  • infant formula milk based on cow’s milk

You can also use your card to collect:

  • Healthy Start vitamins – these support you during pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • vitamin drops for babies and young children – these are suitable from birth to 4 years old

More information can be found here

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