School Holiday Activity Fund (SHAF)

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Boy swinging on a climbing frameThe School Holiday Activity Fund (SHAF) is designed to enable organisations to deliver fun and accessible activities for children and young people during the school holidays through our School Holiday Activity Fund. This includes all half-term breaks, Easter, Christmas and the summer holiday.

Organisations may apply for the running costs of holiday programmes that provide young people with activities in supportive and accessible environments.  

SHAF Application Process

  • The maximum grant amount available is £4,000. 
  • Registered charities or mainstream state schools that are based in the Beneficial Area can apply. 
  • 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 this purpose. 
  • An organisation may apply to the Fund once a year for a maximum of three consecutive years. Then a break of at least 12 months must be taken before applying again. 

What Can I Apply For?

You can apply to the School Holiday Activity Fund for a variety of fun 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 or education catch-up/tuition.

School Holiday Activity Fund 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 to Apply

The Fund is considered six times a year to coincide with school holiday periods.  Application forms may be submitted at any time but no later than: 

  • Summer holiday – 1 June 
  • October half-term – 21 September 
  • Christmas holiday – 16 November 
  • February half-term – 18 January 
  • Easter – five weeks before Easter Monday 
  • May half-term – 25 April 

When applying for the School Holiday Activity Fund, we operate a one-stage application process.

If you are unsure as to whether you are eligible, please read the Grant Policies and check the Eligibility Tracker before going any further.

If you feel the School Holiday Activity Fund is the right grant for you, please click here to find out further information regarding the application process and begin your application.  


Due to Covid-19, please be aware that all delivery should fully comply with the National Youth Agency (NYA) guidance.  Please ensure you are familiar with the ‘Managing Youth Sector Activities and Spaces During Covid-19’ document on the NYA website.  When applying you will be asked to complete an Alert Level Delivery Plan to detail how your project will be delivered in the event the Alert Level is changed. Please note, the current Readiness Level is YELLOW.