A LOCAL farm has teamed up with Devon County Council’s HAF (Holiday Activities and Food) programme to help kids make the most of their summer holidays.
The HAF programme is a fully funded holiday activities provision for children who receive benefits related to free school meals.
While there are a variety of activities to choose from on the HAF programme, the Teign Valley’s On The Hill will be offering a school holiday with a twist.
Based in Oxen Park Farm in Higher Ashton, the community interest company typically offers land-based and experiential learning opportunities to a wide range of people, including school groups, university students and families.
Rosie Fellows, Director of On The Hill, said: ‘We are based in a rural setting but within a 10-mile radius of Newton abbot, a neighbourhood which is among the top 20% of the most income deprived in England.
‘Within the Teignbridge district, there are high numbers of families experiencing economic disadvantage and deprivation, with a number of schools where over 35% of children are eligible for benefit-related free school meals.
‘We want these children and their families to be able to access a local farm, local food and the range of engaging and enriching activities we facilitate on the land - On The Hill offers a place where young people can thrive, have fun, make friends, feel comfortable with themselves and each other, learn new skills and play!’
We want to build stronger connections within our locality, particularly with those schools and their surrounding communities with high numbers of economically disadvantaged children and offer the opportunity for land-based education and meaningful activity that should be, but is not available to all.’
On The Hill will be offering a range of activities throughout the summer, such as farming activities, pizza making, cooking over an open fire, gardening, building projects and craft skills.
Rosie added: ‘We want to introduce more children and young people to the budding wildlife and new habitats emerging around the ponds created last year and now home to dragonflies, pond skaters, frogs and other pondlife. We want to take children on an exploration of the ancient woodland and identify trees, care for the animals, and engage in crafts that use materials from the land.
‘In alignment with another of our core values of protecting the environment, we want to bring children and young people into a greater relationship with the natural world so they have an opportunity to care for it.’