School Holiday Activity Fund

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The School Holiday Activity 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 holiday.

The Fund will pay for the running costs of holiday programmes that provide young people with activities in supportive and accessible environments.  Please note that the maximum grant allowance is now up to £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.

What can I apply for?

You can apply to the School Holiday Activity Fund for a variety of activities.  Suitable examples could include (but are not limited to):

  • holiday drop-in activities
  • arts activities
  • sports projects
  • family activities
  • trips out of London
  • camping trips.

We will not consider requests for trips abroad.

Grants could be used for:

  • equipment (not IT equipment)
  • sessional staffing costs
  • transport
  • venue hire
  • other direct project costs.

We will not consider requests to cover existing permanent staff salaries.

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.

You may apply to the School Holiday Activity Fund once a year for a maximum of three consecutive years.

Application Deadlines

Applications to the School Holiday Activity Fund can be submitted at any time, but must be received by the Grants Office 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. We are currently moving our application forms online, so please bear with us and read the instructions below carefully:

If your application was successful after 18th January 2019, you will be required to submit a report using your account on our online grants portal. You will receive an email prompt to complete our online reporting form (with a link to our grants portal) one month before it is due.

If your application was successful before 18th January 2019, you will need to complete the School Holiday Activity Fund Reporting Form and email it to  The report does not have to be long, but you must show the value of your activity and evidence that it meets a local need.  Additional information that does not fit on this form can also be submitted. You should cover these points:

  • how many hours / days / weeks the activity took place
  • how many participants took part and their ages
  • how the project benefitted children and young people
  • the final expenditure budget for the activity and how the Charity’s funds were used.