A RANGE of free activities are on offer to children and young people across Dorset this Christmas.
Holiday clubs, activities and fun days are being offered through Dorset Council’s Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF).
The scheme allows anyone who is already in receipt of benefit-related free school meals to sign up for a HAF passcode, which gives access to activities and events across the county, all accompanied by a nutritious hot meal. Fee-paying bookings are also available for the majority of activities.
Holiday clubs and activity providers have also increased their support for children with special educational needs and disabilities, with a number of locations now offering one-to-one support where required.
Young people can choose to keep warm with indoor sessions, and for those who like to be outside and active there are plenty of outdoor sports and games included too.
This year’s programme includes:
• Exclusive Event at Farmer Palmer’s Farm Park (Purbeck): Children, including those with disabilities, can meet the farm’s animals, enjoy a tractor and trailer ride, and receive gifts from Santa. A hot meal will be served in the cosy farm café. Click here to book
• Treehouse Theatre in Purbeck and Gillingham: Bringing the classic story of Cinderella to life in an immersive show with live music, audience banter, sing-alongs, and opportunities for audience volunteers. Afterwards, children will enjoy a meal and a disco party. Click here to find out more
• Samurai Kickboxing Camps in Dorchester: Children can try something new, learning martial arts skills that promote fitness, strength, coordination, and mental well-being. Click here to find out more
• Multi-Sports Camps at Sherborne Sports Centre: Teenagers (12–16 years) can participate in team gym activities and climbing. Click here to find out more
• Weymouth Outdoor Education Centre (WOEC): A rock hop activity at Tout Quarry in Portland, followed by climbing and indoor caving tunnels. Participants will receive a hearty Christmas dinner, courtesy of Loose Moose, with crackers and gifts included. All equipment and a free return bus transfer to Portland will be provided. Click here to find out more
• 360 Degree Sports Coaching in Verwood: Expanding their program to include multi-sports sessions at a new venue. Click here to find out more
• Saints Southwest Soccer Camp (Blandford United Football Club): Children up to the age of 11 can make new friends, have fun, and work on their soccer technique in a safe learning environment. Click here to find out more
Dorset Council’s Holiday Activity and Food Programme is now in its third year, offering activities for children and teenagers of all ages and abilities.
Cllr Byron Quayle, the council’s portfolio holder for children, education, skills, and early help, said: “Many families across Dorset are struggling with the cost of living, and it is even more challenging at this time of year.
“HAF ensures that all children can enjoy festive fun and activities during the Christmas holiday.”