Rashford holiday programme

Marcus Rashford in a still from the new film

A new film featuring Marcus Rashford has been launched, calling on parents to sign up their children to the government’s expanded Holiday Activity and Food Programme (HAF).

The programme has been supporting children and families in the school holidays since 2018 and was significantly expanded in light of the pandemic last year.

Funded by the government, this year up to £220 million has been made available to councils across the country to run the programmes locally through holiday clubs, beginning at Easter and continuing through summer and Christmas 2021.

The film features a holiday club at CATCH Leeds, Mandeville Primary in London and Button Lane in Manchester, Rashford’s former primary school.

Children and families minister Vicky Ford said: 'Thousands of young people will continue to benefit from the expanded Holiday Activities and Food programme, which the government is expanding across the whole country with investment of up to £220m. This summer it will continue to provide nutritious food, as well as activities like arts and crafts, sport, and music, to the children who would benefit the most – especially those eligible for free school meals.

'I’m grateful for the support of Henry Dimbleby, Marcus Rashford and the Food Foundation as champions for the programme and I hope many others follow their lead. I urge parents and families to have a look at what’s on in their area for the summer holidays.'

Through the programme, the government said it also wants children to be more active during the school holidays and not become socially isolated.