Covid-19 School Holiday Activity Fund (SHAF)

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The Fund is designed to enable organisations to deliver fun and accessible activities for children and young people during the school holidays.  This includes all half-term breaks, Easter, Christmas and the summer holidays.

Please read the information below carefully before applying for a grant, as the parameters have changed in response to Covid-19.


The Fund will pay for the running costs of holiday programmes that are delivered during school holidays which provide young people with activities in accordance with Government guidelines.  Please note that the maximum grant allowance is £4,000.

Who can apply?

Applications to the School Holiday Activity Fund (SHAF) can be made by registered charities or mainstream state schools that are based in the Beneficial Area.

Organisations that are currently in receipt of a grant from John Lyon’s Charity for core services are also eligible to apply to this Fund as long as funds from the Charity are not already being used for holiday activities.  You may apply for a SHAF grant this year, even if you have had three consecutive SHAF grants.

You cannot apply if you received a SHAF grant during the summer.

If you have never received funding from John Lyon’s Charity before, you are still welcome to apply for funding under the SHAF.  We do, however, need you to be a member of one of the Young People’s Foundations

What can I apply for?

You can apply to the School Holiday Activity Fund for a variety of activities, but this must be in line with the National Youth Agency (NYA) guidelines and the Readiness Level.  We are currently in RED Readiness Level. Guidance on activities permissible under the Readiness Level can be found here We would advise that you always have a plan for Red even if the Readiness Level changes.  

Please familiarise yourself with the Readiness Levels and the kinds of activities you can deliver.  As the Readiness Level changes, you may want to consider how you could adapt your delivery to expand your offer within the guidelines.  If you intend to adapt your delivery, you need to include a plan of activities to accompany your application that covers each Readiness Level.

Funding will be provided for activities that are additional to current delivery such as:

  • Sessional staffing costs 
  • Transport for children with special needs and/or disabilities only  
  • Additional sessions 
  • Digital delivery  
  • Other direct project costs such as equipment (not IT equipment) 
  • Food, within the context of activity taking place. 

What we will not Fund

We cannot provide funding under SHAF for the following: 

  • We will not consider requests to cover existing permanent staff salaries  
  • Laptops, tablets or mobile phones  
  • School catch-up work, tutoring or curriculum-based learning
  • Trips. 

How do I apply?

To apply, complete an online application form using our Grants Portal now.  If it is your first online application to the Charity, you will need to create a new login.  The online application process will provide all the information you need.

Application Deadline

Applications to the School Holiday Activity Fund can be submitted at any time, but must be submitted by the following deadlines:

Summer holiday –  1 June
October half-term – 21 September
Christmas holiday – 16 November
February half-term – 18 January
Easter – 1 March
May half-term – 25 April

Reporting Requirements

You are required to submit a report to the Charity within six weeks of completion of the activities using your account on our online Grants PortalYou will receive an email prompt to complete the online reporting form (with a link to our Grants Portal) one month before it is due.

Things to consider when planning your application

If you are applying for funding to deliver face-to-face services to children and young people we require you to follow the National Youth Agency’s guidance – please read this at (note that this document will be updated on a regular basis, so please check for any changes before you submit your application). 

If you want to deliver detached work with young people, we also recommend that you look at the guidance issues by the Federation for Detached Youth Work at

For a comprehensive list of resources on how to deliver children and youth services during Covid-19 please go to 

When submitting your application you will need to: 

1. Read and familiarise yourself with the NYA guidance.  If you are successful in your application, you will need to sign the “Staying Covid-19 Secure in 2020” document (page 14 of the “Managing Youth Sector Activities and Spaces During Covid 19”).

2. Complete a risk assessment and upload this with your application (examples can be found at   

3. Complete the Alert Level Delivery Plan to explain how you will adapt your activities in line with NYA guidance.