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Free holiday activities with lunch

Our free spring, summer and winter holiday programme gives young people the chance to enjoy a wide range of free activities with a healthy lunch.

Summer programme: 25 July to 30 August 2024

Our summer programme offers a wide range of activities across Islington. It is free for eligible young people to attend.  

If you are not eligible, there are some activities free to all and some that require a small payment. Anyone attending will be offered a free lunch.

This programme does not operate during school half terms. Find out what is happening on half term.

Eligibility

This programme is free to Islington residents who are aged between 4-16 years (up to 18 if they have special educational needs and disability (SEND)), enrolled in school and meet one of the following criteria:

  • qualify for benefits-related Free School Meals (FSM)
  • can be referred by a social worker, family support worker or other professional.

To book activities, you need to register your child on our booking system. If you have already registered, you do not need to do this again.

Free School Meals

All children in primary schools receive free school meals (FSM) but this does not mean that everyone is eligible for benefits-related FSM. If you are not sure, you can ask us to check for you. Email us at Lunch.Bunch@islington.gov.uk with your child’s full name, date of birth and postcode. Find out more or register for FSM.

Eligibility changes

If your child’s eligibility has changed on our booking system, this could be because they have reached the maximum age (16 years old) or your child is no longer eligible for benefits-related free school meals because your financial situation has changed. Email Lunch.Bunch@islington.gov.uk if you have an question about eligibility.

Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

There are places for eligible young people with SEND, including some providers who are offering activities just for those with SEND. You can find these activities listed on our booking system.

If your child is eligible and has a SEND, it is important that you share the details about your child’s needs with the activity provider so they can confirm your child’s place and make reasonable adjustments.

Referring professionals

If you wish to refer a young person, you can either support the family or carer to register the young person on Plinth or you can register and book activities on their behalf.

Please note, if your details are on Plinth, you will be the key contact for activity providers. If you are just supporting a family or young person to register, once they have registered, email us to let us know about your referral on lunch.bunch@islington.gov.uk.

If you're not eligible for free places

If you are not eligible for free activities, there are many activities that are free to all such as adventure playgrounds, Summerversity and youth clubs. Other activities may only need a small payment. These activities are listed on our booking system as 'fee paying'.

If you do attend an activity that is part of our programme, everyone receives a free lunch. 

What's on and how to book activities 

If your child is not registered

  1. Create an account on Plinth.
  2. Confirm your email address using the link sent to your email - if you register using a Google or Facebook account, you can skip this step.
  3. Log in and register your child or children by completing the form. Please make sure the details you provide are correct as it may affect eligibility checks. Use the same name, address and date of birth details for your child that your child’s school has

You will get an email saying you have registered. We will then start checking your child's eligibility. This is done every weekday between 9am and 5pm.

We will let you know by email if your child gets a free place. After that, you can start booking by logging into Plinth with the email address you used on the registration form.

Book activities

Once registered, you can search and book activities.

During the summer holidays you can book up to 16 activities per child. More activities may be added to our booking system, so keep checking for updates. Bookings open on Tuesday 18 June 2024 at 6pm.

Book now

Booking cancellations

If your child is no longer able to attend an activity, please let the activity provider know at least three days prior. Your support in giving as much notice as possible is important, as it could mean a child on a waiting list is able to have the place.

Failure to give fair notice in cancelling your child’s attendance, could mean the activity provider may not allow you to book with them in future.

Help

  • If you need help to get online, you can visit your local library.
  • Eligibility checks: If you have registered your child and are awaiting approval, please note that we do eligibility checks daily, Monday to Friday, and you will get an email when we've completed these. Please check your junk folder.
  • If you have technical issues with our booking system (Plinth), please try the following:
    • Refresh your screen
    • Check your registration and ensure your child’s name and details are on the registration and not yours as the parent
    • Check you are using the correct email address.
    If you still have an issue, please use the Plinth chat button to ask for help. The usual response time is around three minutes and if you cannot wait for a response, you will get an email reply about your problem.
  • If you need any other support please email: lunch.bunch@islington.gov.uk. We check this email inbox Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm.   

Digital accessibility

Our booking system website is run by Plinth (previously known as Time to Spare).

We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website and our partner Plinth are committed to making their website accessible, in accordance with WCAG 2.1 AA guidelines. We know some parts of the Plinth website are not fully accessible and we have an accessibility roadmap and expect that they will improve accessibility by March 2024.

If you need support please email lunch.bunch@islington.gov.uk. We check this email inbox Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm. 

Privacy notice

For further information about how London Borough of Islington processes personal data for the purposes of delivering the Lunch Bunch: Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme, including the lawful bases we rely upon, how to exercise your data subject rights and how to make a complaint, please see the Lunch Bunch Privacy Notice.

Islington Council’s Lunch Bunch programme is part-funded by the Department for Education.

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Data protection: We will handle your personal information in line with the Data Protection Act 1998 and in accordance with the council’s Fair Processing Notice.