Take a look through our Play:Full resources and learn more about funding, legislation, safeguarding, recipe ideas, and more!LEARN MORE
You may be able to apply to The Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) fund administered by Oxfordshire County Council. Get in touch with the HAF team who can support you in developing your application.
If you run a holiday activity there are organisations who can help you access low cost, surplus food in your area. If you are operating activities regularly or are a medium size try Oxford Food Hub or SOFEA. If you are a bit smaller or for one-offs, link to your local foodbank, community larder or community fridge
These Play:Full Recipes and Activity Suggestions are great to get kids cooking:
Play:Full Activity Suggestions
Lentil and Sweet Potato Curry Recipe
Food handling –
By law, food business operators must ensure that food handlers receive the appropriate supervision and training in food hygiene, which is in-line with the area they work in and will enable them to handle food in the safest way. In the UK, food handlers don't have to hold a food hygiene certificate to prepare or sell food.
Safeguarding - if you are running activities with children you will need to review your safeguarding policies and practices and check best practice. There are some useful links to policies and training here
Evaluating your programme is very important as it can help you to: learn from your experience and share it with other stakeholders; helps you to know whether what you are doing is beneficial to the community; identify strengths and weaknesses in your programme; create a basis for future planning; explain to funders, and others involved in your work, what you have achieved and how successful it is.
Collecting evidence such as numbers of people participating,
Making note of people’s opinions, views and experiences, taking photos
Take feedback from people via a google form on the spot without sending it to them
A questionnaire survey can be used to find out more about the views and experiences of users. Questions that allow people to say more than just yes or no will give you more detailed information,
Here is a template evaluation report that can help you to think about the types of data you may want to collect and report on (Coming Soon)
You can read some evaluation reports of recent Play:Full projects here:
Banbury - Brighter Futures (Coming Soon)
Cutteslowe – Food Power (Coming Soon)
Littlemore – Food Power (Coming Soon)
Abingdon – Food Power (Coming Soon)
From January 27th till 3rd March 2021 GFO ran a recipe kit project in Cutteslowe in collaboration with the Cutteslowe Community Center in which participating families were provided with a bag of ingredients to prepare a healthy vegetarian family meal with an easy-to-follow recipe card once per week. The bag also included food related books and other activities for children. 50 families participated in this project and 280 meals were provided within the 6 weeks. The project was a success and lots of positive feedback was received from participants on how useful the project had been and how it improved their cooking skills.
Summerfest is a play day with a healthy theme which is held in the Bretch Hill neighbourhood of Banbury. This was the third year it had been held, and it is growing each year. The food provision was partnered with the Banbury Healthy Cooking Skills project who ran the food stall (with funding from the Brighter Futures in Banbury partnership). In a change from recent years, they decided to bring ‘interesting’ salads along with healthy protein sources, banana cakes and fresh fruit. After a slowish start the salads took off and people of all ages enjoyed trying foods that they thought they didn’t like – Afghan Salad, Squash and Lentil Salad, a pasta salad with vegetables and a healthy potato salad. Lots of positive comments came back to those manning the stall with many people expressing complete surprise that they liked the food and asking for recipes.
St Mary’s school is in central Banbury and the school population speaks at least 14 languages. The school decided to offer a community meal in the summer holidays, targeting children who had free school meals in term time, but open to all. The meal at St Marys was cooked in their new community space with the help and assistance of the Home school Link Worker, the school chef and a member of the Banbury Community Action Group. The home school link worker targeted families who she works with, and others who she felt would benefit from attending. The children were pleased to see the Banbury Mayor, who works at their school, joining them for lunch.
Play:Full provided a choice of chilli con carne or a mushroom stroganoff with bread, salad and fresh fruit. Attendance was good and everyone enjoyed sitting down at long tables in the playground and eating together. Whilst the food was prepared everyone played games on the school field - CDC facilitated this activity for the families. Those who were less energetic or with a limited ability could join in with craft activities run by Selma Wakeman, a youth and community worker who was engaged by the Play:Full project.
Although there are twenty schools in Banbury, Play:Full partnered with three schools over the summer holidays; two primaries and a secondary school, all having pupil intake from the Brighter Futures area. Hillview Primary School ran a three-week holiday club and Harriers Academy ran a one-week club. Play:Full provided both these venues with a piece of fresh fruit for every child that attended each day, and for those on the free school meals register we provided ingredients to make up a packed lunch. This became an activity for the children at both schools. Hillview also ran an overnight camp during their holiday club and Play:Full suggested providing a healthy lolly for the children to enjoy during this very popular activity.
Banbury Food for Charities also used Hillview as a distribution point for supplies over this three-week period giving parents and children the opportunity to access free food if required.
Play:Full partnered with The Mill Arts Centre in Banbury. 50 free tickets were given to the project for a performance singing with the well-known Disney cartoon film, along with space for a meal and craft activity before the show. Initially it was hoped that parents and children who used the Sunshine Centre would be the main beneficiaries of this event, but due to the late notice, other activities were already planned and booked by the Sunshine Centre so numbers from that group were low.
Parents and children from the Mosque and South Asian community stepped in at the eleventh hour and enjoyed a fabulous afternoon. We started with craft activities and then had lunch followed by the performance with ice cream. Staff at the Mill were incredibly hospitable and made sure that everyone had an afternoon to remember.
Banbury Mosque took a group of 20 children to a morning of activities and lunch at Banbury Fire Station. Feedback from the Fire Station proved that should this event run in the future, it would be wise to target slightly older children (7-10 would be ideal) as some of the activities had to be adapted due to the small size of the children. Packed lunch bags were taken.
The school had never offered food or summer activities before, but working with the Play:Full initiative gave them the confidence to try both. They got involved with Play:Full because they could see its approach could tackle a variety of issues – school staff were aware of households who were struggling to budget over the holidays, and suspected that some children were going hungry. Some children were not having much physical activity during the holidays, some were bored and the school holidays saw an increase in antisocial behaviour in the neighbourhood. The summer session was publicised on social media as well as through the school newsletter.
The project involved some extra planning activity, and the school gave six hours of paid staff time, which enabled them to attract volunteers to support them. 25 children received a healthy lunch including dips and vegetable sticks. This prompted all sorts of conversations about how a pea can become a dip, and what a butternut squash looks like before it’s squashed! The children were proud to have made their own sandwiches. Parents were invited to hear what the children had eaten and learn how they could provide nutritious packed lunches on a budget.
Staff commented that the children chatted throughout the event. It was an opportunity to meet the children in a relaxed setting and the effect has been that those children who attended have an improved relationship with school staff.
“I think that opening our doors and providing food, even for one day over the summer, has shown the families involved that we are committed to supporting them. We offer a high level of support throughout the school year and try and make sure that families know where to go in the holidays. Those of us who closely work with families can spend hours worrying about them and having the opportunity to spend time with them in an informal setting was beneficial for them and us.”
Science Oxford provided 20 sessions for two different age groups working with the Sunshine Centre and The Hill youth and family centre in Banbury. Children benefitted from science sessions ranging from making ice cream without a freezer to a mini beast safari. 40 children were able to attend.
The younger children had a science session in the morning and received a packed lunch to take away, while older children met before their session to make and eat their lunch.
Parents were delighted with the quality of the sessions and some commented that the free lunch had been a help. Other benefits included time to devote to siblings and in one case “time off” for the sibling of a disabled child.
The final session was a science scavenger hunt followed by a barbecue for both groups and their siblings. This gave an opportunity for parents to meet staff from Science Oxford and the Sunshine Centre. They were able to talk about science education as well as have an opportunity to see the Centre staff during a period when not all groups are being held, which can be isolating for some parents.