NEARLY 1,500 bookings were made for young people to enjoy free healthy food and holiday activities over the summer holidays.

The Holiday Activities and Food, HAF, programme is funded by the Department For Education, managed by Lancashire County Council and administered locally by Rossendale Leisure Trust.

HAF Co-ordinator Paul Gallagher said: “Over the summer holidays, we provided 16 full days over four weeks.

“We introduced a new online booking system and we took 1,450 bookings and supported primary, secondary and special educational needs pupils.

“We worked with 28 different providers and 25 were based in Rossendale. This summer we had five new providers: FunTastic Yoga, Char’s Cakery, Cotton Shed Theatre, Slime for Fun and Rossendale Rays and three of those were providing for SEN.

“Healthy Heads visited various venues to deliver a nutrition, healthy eating and dietary plan workshop and food was provided by Haslingden Community Link and Supreme Catering in Rawtenstall.”

The HAF was delivered in 26 different venues from Haslingden to Whitworth, including schools and community buildings, to ensure that activities and food were provided close to participants’ homes.

Paul said: “I am really happy with the programme we provided and we have had great feedback from those who took part in the activities and the providers.

“We were particularly pleased with the increase in the number and range of SEN specific sessions which got very supportive feedback and attendance.”

RLT secured £240,000 to provide the HAF throughout 2023, which has including venue hire, providers costs, food, administration and courses on First Aid and Safeguarding.

Paul added: “We will be providing four days of free food and activities over the Christmas break and the bookings will open for these early in December. For more information visit

Cathrine Smyth Media.