By Caroline Ansell MP

The brilliant Holiday Activities and Food programme (HAF) has been active across Eastbourne over Easter.

This government-funded initiative has given more than £1.6 million to East Sussex to deliver for our children on free school meals, providing good food and enriching activities over the Easter holidays.

In Eastbourne, there are 12 programmes taking place with more than 80 across the county.

‘No one left behind’ was the platform I stood on to be this town’s MP back in 2015. Securing a new programme for children during the school holidays has been an important part of that mission.

I will be dropping into some of the programmes during the holiday. As a former teacher, I understand how important this scheme is.  

And that is because it works. Children have reported new confidence and parents, a warm appreciation that their children are active and safe and not socially isolated. I am building the case in Parliament for this new initiative to be continued beyond next year.

The Children’s Commission, and then Minister for Children visited Eastbourne’s Buzz Active to see the programme in action. It was a gloriously sunny day and the sound of children’s laughter filled the beach!