ActivAte free school holiday programme

About ActivAte

Essex ActivAte is the name for the Holiday Activity and Food (#HAF2023) programme across Essex, run by Active Essex, Essex County Council and Thurrock Council, on behalf of the Department for Education. Additional funding is provided by Essex County Council to extend the offer to low income working families who also require support during the school holidays. This programme takes place during the Easter, Summer and Winter holidays. Where possible, Essex County Council and Basildon Borough Council provide additional support families during the smaller half terms as well.

The programme aims to support the physical and mental wellbeing of primary and secondary school children, through engagement in a wide variety of enrichment and physical activities, and provision of a nutritious, school standard meal.

Working with a network of trusted local delivery partners, Active Essex run these FREE face to face clubs during the school holidays for children and young people who are eligible for benefits based free school meals, as well as those from low income working families who would benefit from this extra support. We are also able to extend this support to children and young people who may be vulnerable to inactivity or social isolation, on a case by case basis, please speak to the club provider to discuss if this is an option.

Each Essex ActivAte club will deliver a variety of fun physical and enrichment activities, fun food education and a nutritious meal. Alongside this you can access family support and fun activities to keep children active and entertained at home.



How to book onto an Essex ActivAte club

A couple of weeks before each half term and holiday programme, Essex Activate will post on their Facebook and Twitter pages when clubs are available to view, so make sure you’re following their social media too!


Easter, Summer and Winter – Main Holidays

If your children are on benefit based free school meals (BBFSM), you will receive a voucher from your school with your unique booking code. You will receive one code, per child, per main holiday. You must book your child/ren onto a club, using the booking link on your voucher, and not on this website. 

Further support on booking your children onto a club using your code.

If your children are not on benefit based free school meals and you feel that they would benefit from attending one of our clubs, please see this further information.

If your child cannot attend a club after they have booked on, please inform the club as soon as possible. Without doing so, you will lose your credits and stop someone else accessing a valuable space.

Holiday Activities Parents guide.pdf


About ActivAte Half Term programme

The Essex ActivAte half term programme is solely funded by Essex County Council for eligible school aged children to book on to free clubs taking place across the county. Discover primary, secondary SEND and mental wellbeing clubs listed on the attached PDF or find further information about half term clubs on the Essex ActivAte website .

Please note, the Essex ActivAte half term programme is not linked to the Department for Education’s HAF programme above, which takes place during Easter, Summer and Christmas. As the half term offer runs slightly different, you won't need a Holiday Activities voucher to book onto clubs during October, February or May/June smaller half terms, and you will book on directly through the Essex ActivAte website above.


May, October, February – Smaller Half Terms

To book your child/ren onto one of our clubs for half term, you will not receive a voucher from your school, and will need to book through providers booking system, which will be live on our homepage ahead of the programme. You will need to select your area, find what clubs are available and book your child on. Depending on the club, you may need to book through our website, or contact them directly.


Essex ActivAte Easter Holiday Clubs Go Live!

Book onto our free Easter holiday clubs over 2nd April – 12th April 2024, free clubs in Essex will provide eligible children and young people with physical and enrichment activities, as well as a nutritious meal, to support their physical and mental wellbeing! Parents can book on by using a WONDE code or contact a local club through the information on our website or details in the posters attached.

CP Clubs - Easter 2024.pdf [pdf] 244KB


Benefit based Free School Families

  • If your child/ren receives or is eligible for benefit based free school meals, you be emailed a Holiday Activities voucher code from your school
  • You will receive one code, per child
  • Click the green box to log in, claim your voucher and book your child directly onto a local club
  • If you are still waiting for a voucher code, please contact your school who should be able to provide this for you
  • Please see here a step by step video how to book Benefit Based Free School Meal families on to the programme
  • Please see attached a step by step guide how to book Benefit Based Free School Meal families on to the programme families book onto the programme.

Low income families

  • We offer limited spaces for young people who are not eligible for benefits based free school meals, but are from ‘low-income’ working families, may be vulnerable and/or experience inactivity and social isolation without access to this free support
  • Please use this webpage as a guide to view what clubs are available and club details
  • Therefore to book your child/ren onto a local club, you will not receive a Holiday Activities voucher code, and you will need to contact the club directly by finding their contact details below.


Guide for claiming voucher