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22 October 2021

The results are in: “Best summer ever!” say young Cumbrians

Thousands of children and young people across Cumbria enjoyed a summer of fun thanks to the Cumbria Holiday Activity programme.

Funded by the Department of Education’s Holiday Activity and Food Programme 2021 and administered by Cumbria County Council working with the Cumbria Youth Alliance, the Cumbria Holiday Activity programme provided free activities for families whose children receive benefits-related free school meals.

The programme supported 74 youth clubs, sports clubs, outdoor centres and other organisations to host hundreds of activities, giving young Cumbrians the opportunity to try something new and to have fun during summer break. The four-week programme of activities saw 5869 young people take part in activities across the county.

A feedback survey carried out by the council found a large majority of parents and children saying that they “loved the variety of activities” provided by the Cumbria Holiday Activity programme, with some describing it as “the best summer ever!”.

Focus is shifting to the upcoming winter holiday activity programme, where the enormous success of the summer programme will look to be built on.

For the latest details of the upcoming winter programme, watch out for updates on the Cumbria Holiday Activity Programme website.

Councillor Deborah Earl, Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health, said:

“I was absolutely delighted to see so many of our county’s children and young people enjoying themselves this summer and having so many activities to choose from. The Cumbria Holiday Activity Programme was a welcome opportunity for so many families- to try new activities, learn new things and to take their minds off what has been such a difficult 18 months.”

“I’m glad we were able to reach so many young people and hope that the upcoming winter programme will have the same positive effect on young people across Cumbria.”

Cath Clarke from Cumbria Youth Alliance said:

“We had more than 70 providers on board who were able to offer a wide range of activities; from outdoor challenges, circus schools and football camps to swimming and gym sessions in all six localities across Cumbria.”

“Our providers went above and beyond to ensure our young people had a positive experience and made happy memories from the summer activities.

“As we look towards preparing for the winter programme, we are pleased to say that 95% of our summer providers are on board again and we have also attracted some new providers to further widen the experience for our young people. So, keep your eyes peeled for our upcoming winter offer.” 


  • 74 organisations provided activities as part of the Cumbria Holiday Activity Programme (HAF).
  • 5,869 individual young people attended HAF provision over the summer.
  • 4775 individual young people were HAF funded with 89% being eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) and 11% belonging to the vulnerable groups.
  • 13% of those individuals were children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) young people.
  • 68% of young people who were HAF funded were Primary School age.
  • 32% of young people who were HAF funded were Secondary School age.

Children playing- Penrith Summer 2021
Child playing with bubbles- Appleby Summer 2021 
Thousands of children and young people across Cumbria enjoyed a summer of fun thanks to the Cumbria Holiday Activity programme.