Posted on 30th August 2021
Holiday Activities & Food Programme (HAF) – Bolton Council

This summer, Bolton Council have reached out to Anderton, to facilitate their new HAF Programme at our High Rid Reservoir location. HAF (Holiday Activities & Food) is an initiative run by Bolton Council to promote healthy eating and exercise through enrichment activities such as kayaking, canoeing, climbing, archery etc. The scheme prioritises places for those eligible for free school meals but those between the ages of 4-12 are welcome to take part; provided they are attending school. It has garnered the support of Marcus Rashford, The Food Foundation, National Food Strategy, The Food People, Fix Our Food and many of the partnered facilities, parents, guardians, and children across the country. The department for education has funded £1.5 million towards the programme meaning absolutely everything is provided for free! 

Yesterday, we had 10 children in attendance, and, after a quick vote, they decided they wanted to try rafted canoeing. Before the activity got underway, Senior Instructor, David Buddell, ran a short class discussing the importance of a healthy breakfast and how snacks and treats should be consumed in moderation. He explained how food becomes energy for our bodies and why sleep plays an important part in being able to achieve our best throughout the day. 

Learning complete, time to head out onto the water. After donning safety equipment, such as wet suits, buoyancy aids and helmets, Instructor Matt and volunteer Martin ran a ‘Simon Says’ like game as part of the warmup, before joining the kids in the canoes. Once out on the water, they played a few games involving balls, dunking body parts in the water, a fair bit of splashing and of course a few races! 

Next up, a quick warm drink break with some relaxed socialisation time, and a debrief where everyone had a chance to discuss their experience and contribute to a list of advice for future attendees. The children had another chance for a swim (and a few somersaults) in the reservoir before drying off and enjoying their well-earned meal. 

Check out the video below for a more detailed look at the day. 

For a more in depth look at the activities and services we offer – head on over to one of our social media platforms: 

Any attendees who enjoyed their time trying out water sports might want to come for one of our Pay & Play sessions: 

And see Bolton council’s website for more information on the HAF programme: