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22.03.23 – Holiday Activity and Food Programme, Staffordshire Day Poetry Competition

Written by on 22 March 2023

Families on a low income will be able to choose from even more activities as new providers join the Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme.

The county council run scheme is available to eligible children aged between five and sixteen on benefits related free school meals.

The programme includes physical play, fun activities, nutritional advice, and a healthy hot meal where possible. Funding is provided by the Department for Education.

Joining the scheme in time for the Easter break, is Lingotot based in Cannock. The club offers primary school aged children the chance to learn languages through creative interactive activities, with themes from Harry Potter to The Three Little Pigs.

Since the scheme launched in summer 2021, more than 50 providers including charities, community groups, schools and other organisations have joined the scheme, making over 138,000 free places available across the county.

All those eligible for the programme will have received a registration code from their school.

Parents/carers should go to to register for a timetable of activities in their local area.

To apply for free school meals, visit Apply online – Free School Meals – Staffordshire County Council


Poets of all ages and abilities are invited to take part in the Big Green Staffordshire Poetry competition as part of this year’s Staffordshire Day celebrations.

Staffordshire Day is an annual celebration held on 1st May each year, when the county unites to share its pride and celebrate all that’s great about Staffordshire.

This year’s theme is sustainability and Staffordshire County Council would love people to write a poem about the natural wonders and environmental treasures of Staffordshire.

The poems will be judged by Staffordshire’s Poet Laureate, Dawn Jutton. The top three winning poems from each category will be featured in a published book.

Poems need to be submitted by Friday 14 April 2023.

The competition is open to all and divided into three age groups: 4-11, 12-17, and 18+. Each winner will receive their own copy of the book as a memento of their achievement. Copies of this book will also be available for everyone to read at local libraries across Staffordshire.

Phillip White, Staffordshire County Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economy and skills, said:

“Staffordshire is gearing up to celebrate its annual Staffordshire Day and this year, it’s going to be bigger, better, and greener than ever before!

“The Big Green Staffordshire Poetry Competition is a fantastic opportunity for residents of all ages to showcase their creativity and passion for writing. With national treasures like Cannock Chase, the Peak District and numerous country parks full of wildlife, we have so much to be proud of that could provide inspiration.

“This won’t just help to shine a light on some of our most beautiful locations but will also highlight the importance of protecting them for future generations to enjoy.

“Don’t miss the chance to be part of this fantastic competition and be part of the Staffordshire Day festivities.”

Poems can be handed into local libraries, emailed to or posted to, Communications Department, Staffordshire County Council, Staffordshire Place, Tipping Street, Stafford, ST16 2DH.

The deadline for submissions is Friday 14 April 2023.

People can keep up to date with Staffordshire Day events here: