One Voice Holiday Clubs

Backed by a nationwide investment of around £200 million, the HAF programme runs across all local authority areas during the school holidays, as well as Easter and Christmas.  The local programme, which was launched locally in April 2021, is targeted at those who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals.

One Voice Blackburn is a key delivery partner of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council. A total of 15 partners including charities and community groups have delivered the programme in Blackburn with Darwen.

The Department of Education’s HAF fund has provided activity and food to over 2,400 children and young people in 30 locations through the local authority children’s centre network, Young People’s Services (YPS), Seeds Adolescent support unit and Spring North. The provision has also included over 43,000 free nutritional meals being distributed across the borough.

Since its introduction in April 2021, One Voice Blackburn has supported over 2,000 young people in the borough in accessing meaningful activities and nutritious meals.

From its launch in 2021 at Bangor Street Community Centre, the One Voice Blackburn holiday club now operates at Blackburn College to accommodate for the demand in the service and increase in numbers. A staggering 400 young people register each term, a majority of which are eligible for benefits-related free school meals. 

“A good team is the foundation to a successful provision as One Voice Blackburn has grasped over the years,” says Nina Khan, Operations Manager at One Voice Blackburn. “After establishing a team of versatile and experienced teachers, we have now developed a solid team. Our youth leadership group 2020 Vision is vital in supporting the qualified team and lead on many of the activities, providing them with the experience of working with young people from different backgrounds and cultures.”

One Voice Blackburn now use the fabulous facilities in Blackburn College to run the Summer Holiday Club. 

One Voice Blackburn make it a priority to give young people an opportunity to experience what the town has to offer during the festive period. During Winter HAF young people that access the holiday club are given the opportunity to engage in bowling at Vue, watch a classic or new release film at the cinema and a pantomime. The most recent winter holiday provision ended with a grand party inclusive of a photo booth, food, sports, and goodies for everyone to take home. 

There is a strong focus on sports and physical activity at the holiday club. 

“We make it a priority to incorporate a sports session for every group daily so they can let off some steam and engage in activities that will keep them active and healthy,” says Nina. “Some of the activities include football, dodgeball, parachute and street games, amongst many others.”

Many young people and their families have benefitted from HAF throughout the years with parents and young people providing positive feedback since it began in Easter of 2021. 


What the parents say…

“The holiday club with One Voice Blackburn in so invaluable. If this was not available, then my child would be bored at home probably playing on iPads or watching TV all day. Here she can engage in in all sorts of different activities whilst making new friends and improving her confidence. She comes home every day excited to tell me what activities she has done and who she has played with.”

“Each year sees an improvement in the activities provided by One Voice Blackburn. Each day of the holiday club is carefully planned and executed by the staff, ensuring every child experiences unique and fun filled days of endless excitement. Each day is split into different sections including desk top activities, sports and outdoor experiences which gives the young people an opportunity to get involved in a range of different activities.”

“I’m very happy with sending my daughter to the One Voice Blackburn holiday club. Every morning she runs out of bed to get there. I am sure it is a safe and happy place because my daughter is usually a little soft, but she has developed a new found confidence.” 

“My daughter absolutely loves the One Voice Blackburn Holiday Club. She has struggled in the past with making friends and refrains from talking to new people however I am amazed at how she has grown throughout the two years she has been attending HAF. She loves the snacks that are provided throughout the day and is excited to show me the sandwiches and wraps she gets to bring home.”