Waste service strike

The waste service strike is now over and we have restarted service from 27 September 2023.

Over the next few weeks, our waste service team and private waste contractors will catch up on missed collections and street cleaning as quickly as possible.

We thank everyone for their patience and apologise for the inconvenience

Find out more

Holiday activities and Food provision (HAF) 2023 - Free School Meal recipients

This summer we are working with local organisations to offer holiday clubs full of free, fun activities and nutritious food for children in Tower Hamlets.

What do the programmes include?

Every HAF club in the borough will offer fun activities and opportunities to play and learn alongside nutritious food and chances to socialise with other children in the community.

There will be loads of fun activities for kids and the chance to try out new things in a safe and friendly environment. Activities include

  • sports and games
  • creative activities like art
  • music and drama
  • day trips.

All HAF clubs in Tower Hamlets will offer a nutritious meal each day which meets the school food standards. There will also be chances to learn and improve knowledge around healthy lifestyles. This includes the benefits of healthy eating and exercise.

Check the Summer Fun listing.

Who is the programme aimed at?

The HAF programme is funded by the Department for Education and is for children and young people in reception up to Year 11 (inclusive) who receive benefit-related free school meals.

What are benefits related free school meals?

Your child may be receiving their school meals for free, but may not be eligible for benefits related free school meals.

Benefits-eligible free school meals are given to children in both primary and secondary schools across the country.

This includes Tower Hamlets, whose household receives means-tested benefits and/or other entitlements.

Read more on Entitledto website and free school meals on GOV.UK.

Other free school meals offer

Benefits-eligible free school meals are NOT the same as Universal Infant Free School Meals, which provides a government funded meal for every student in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. It also covers the universal free school meal offer from Tower Hamlets Council.

It is not the same as the Tower Hamlets universal free school meals offer from Primary school ages.

To find out about the qualifying benefits and more information on eligibility visit free school meals on GOV.UK.

To find out about your child's eligibility for benefits-related free school meals, please check with your school. Benefits-related free school meals are different from universal free school meals. Please ensure you inquire about the appropriate meal offer.

How do I access a free place at a HAF club?

HAF eligibility letters

Eligible families will be receive a letter in the post inviting them to take a free place at one of the HAF clubs listed.

Letters will be unique to the individual(s) it is addressed to. It will include a unique HAF Code number for each child and should not be shared or copied.

These letters will be sent to the address listed on the free school meals database.

(We cannot change details on the database. Individual schools are responsible for the provision of benefits-eligible free school meals (FSM)).

How to book a HAF place

Once you have chosen the club you want to attend you should contact the HAF club to book your place. You can also follow the booking instructions outlined on the club list.

To secure a free place at your selected HAF club, you need to complete the registration process and present your HAF letter to provide your unique HAF Code.

Please keep your letter safe as it ensures your free place.

What if I did not receive a HAF letter?

Families who have proof of eligibility for free school meals but did not receive a letter should provide a copy of their Statutory Free School Meals entitlement letter to their selected club during registration.

This will help secure a free space for their child.

Eligibility for benefits-related free school meals: What if my child is not currently receiving them?

Review the eligibility criteria on Entitledto website and free school meals.

If you do not receive free school meals based on benefits, but you believe you meet the criteria for free school meals, contact your school to apply. They will provide you with the necessary information and support to determine your eligibility and guide you through the application process.

Other HAF and Holiday activities options

Families not eligible to benefit from free school meals may be able to book a paid place at a club. Please contact your chosen club to find out if they offer paid places.

If you do not find a place, there are lots of activities open to everyone as part of our Summer Fun offer.

Important dates

  • Monday 3 July 2023: Letter posted: Families should begin receiving their HAF letters this week
  • Monday 10 July 2023: HAF Club list to go live
  • Monday 10 July 2023: Summer Fun listing is live
  • Saturday 22 July to Friday 1 September 2023: The HAF programme runs across the borough

My Summer HAF experience

Tell us about your experiences at your Summer HAF club.

Need support – How HAF can help

Did you know that your HAF club has connections to services where you can access support and help with things like, money advice, health, and food. All you need to do is contact your HAF club and they can help you signpost you to a service.

For more support specific services around the cost of living crisis.