Published: Tuesday, 29th November 2022

Children in Medway who receive benefits-related free school meals will continue to receive support over the Christmas break.

Families, with children who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals, will automatically be issued with a £15 e-voucher and families will be able to choose which supermarket they spend the food voucher in.

Parents and carers are also able to choose whether they want to send their children to available MedwayGo sessions or get an additional £15 voucher for the school break. They can make their choice by using a dedicated form on our website.

Snowboarding, football, skiing, swimming, musical theatre workshops and going to see a pantomime are just some of the fantastic activities MedwayGo will offer children over the Christmas break between Tuesday, 20 and Friday, 30 December.

MedwayGo sessions are free for children who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals and many activities are available to book for a small fee, for those who aren’t. Children attending will also receive a hot nutritious meal, made to school food standards, ensuring that children have a healthy balanced meal as they would during the school day.

The programme also offers activities at local schools and academies, leisure centres and venues across Medway. There are even activities parents and carers can take part in with their children. Book now.

Free Arriva bus tickets are also available for families if they are unable to travel to a MedwayGo session.

We are using government funding from the Household Support Fund to provide the vouchers and MedwayGo is funded separately from the government’s Holiday Activities and Food programme (HAF).

Support is available for all families 

Dr Lee-Anne Farach, Medway Council’s Director of People, said: “Approximately 11,000 children in Medway currently receive benefit-related free meals during the school term and I am delighted that they will​ continue to receive support during the Christmas break. We understand the pressures that the school holidays can cause for residents on lower incomes, especially at this time of year. We have a range of healthy family, and budget, friendly recipe ideas on our website which residents might wish to use for inspiration and use their vouchers to buy the ingredients for. We also offer healthy cooking classes, for more information, visit:

“Support is also available for families whose children may not be eligible for free school meals. We would encourage them to find out more about the support available through the government’s Household Support Fund which includes food and fuel vouchers. To apply, visit:”

Find out more, book MedwayGo sessions or choose an additional food voucher.

All residents facing financial difficulties, due to the rise of the cost of living can also apply for help with their household bills through the Household Support Fund. The support on offer includes supermarket and fuel vouchers. Find out more.

What’s on during the Christmas break for all children

Medway Libraries are hosting free festive arts and crafts sessions in libraries across Medway throughout December. Find out more and book your child’s space.

Children under five are being invited to listen to Christmas stories at the Pentagon Shopping Centre on Tuesday, 13 December between 10am and 12pm. The session is part of Medway Council’s Child Friendly Medway team’s newest initiative, For the Love of Reading which aims to help inspire children, young people and families to read. Find out more about Child-Friendly Medway.

Children, young people and their families who attend Medway Sport and Child-Friendly Medway’s Fri-YAY family fun activity sessions will have a special visit from Father Christmas on Friday, 2 December at Medway Park in Gillingham. The free activity sessions at held at the sports centre every week and offers a range of activities including badminton, basketball and table tennis. Find out more.

Get creative at Medway’s award-winning country parks with Christmas trails, clay candle holder workshops and a winter wonderland. Booking essential and there are small fees for the activities. Discover what's on offer.

Get into the Christmas spirit at Medway’s theatres. With interactive puzzles and larger than life characters Medway’s younger residents are invited to join the Lighthouse Cat on a magical journey through fantastical lands to help lift a spell, relight the lamp and save ships in time for Christmas. This interactive 50-minute show at The Brook Theatre is the perfect introduction to theatre for children aged three to six. Tickets from £8 for adults and £7.50 for children. Book your tickets.

This year’s fairy-tale pantomime at The Central Theatre will take the whole family on a thrilling adventure with the much-loved Snow White. Performances will take place from Thursday, 8 to Saturday, 31 December 2022. To book phone the Box Office on 01634 338338 or book online. Tickets from £18. Group offers available.

Children will have the chance to meet Victorian Father Christmas, dressed in his green robes, at Eastgate House in Rochester, and listen to a story about the mice who live at the magnificent 16th century townhouse. Admission fees apply. Find out more.

The range of activities on offer supports our aspiration to make Medway even more child-friendly.

There is a whole host of other Christmas events and activities taking place across Medway during the Christmas break. Discover what's on offer.

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