Swindon performing arts group supports programme launched by Marcus Rashford

By Barrie Hudson - 11 May 2022

CommunityArts and Culture
  • RPA leader and pastoral support worker Patricia Harewood with young participant Favour Nyamekye-Antwi

    RPA leader and pastoral support worker Patricia Harewood with young participant Favour Nyamekye-Antwi

Revolution Performing Arts (RPA) continues to support the national Holiday Activity and Food Programme (HAF).

The programme was launched last year by campaigning footballer Marcus Rashford MBE, and Swindon-based RPA is one of the region's leading performing arts companies for children and young people. 

RPA Founder Fi Da Silva Adams has found the scheme so successful that her team are offering support to families in hardship this summer too. 

She, said: “We piloted this programme for one week over the Christmas holidays last year. It was so successful that we ran it again for a week over Easter. 

"The take-up was incredible – we welcomed over 70 young girls and boys who came to enjoy fun performing arts activities and a free hot meal. Without this support they may not have had this opportunity.”

The Government’s £220 million HAF programme has been available to councils across the country to run the programmes locally through various holiday clubs. Thousands of young people have already benefited and those clubs must commit to provide nutritious food as well as activities like arts and crafts, sport and music to the children who would normally get free school meals during term time. 

RPA is the only performing arts company in Swindon offering the programme.

The activities offered in the HAF programme at RPA were singing, dancing, acting, circus and physical theatre workshops, arts and crafts, loom bands, den building, Nerf guns and outdoor activities. 

“School holidays can be a particularly difficult time for some families due to increased food and childcare costs and reduced incomes,” Fi added. 

“It can mean that families struggle to provide food and activities for children."

Fi believes RPA is the only performing arts group taking part in this programme in Swindon or Wiltshire.

RPA plans to offer the HAF programme again for four weeks in August. The same fun activities will be available plus some extra outdoor activities to enjoy being with nature. HAF is available for children who receive benefits-related free school meals. 

“With Covid19 having affected so many young people’s mental health, our young boys and girls need to feel great now, so I am doing all I can,” said Fi. 

 The HAF Programme is held at The Croft Primary School in Swindon and at Even Swindon Community Centre. All RPA leaders have enhanced DBS police checks and have received full safe-guarding and first aid training.

To register an interest in booking, people should visit https://revolutionpa.co.uk or email office@revolutionpa.co.uk

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