Cooking up Festive Feasts on the Christmas HAF Programme


Having a cracking time learning cookery skills

Thanks to Branston and GoGro CIC (Community Interest Company) children attending Christmas Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) sessions across Lincolnshire will be getting hands-on and learning how to cook up some festive feasts with potatoes.  

Following on from the success of the ‘stretch your spuds’ cooking workshops during the summer HAF programme, GoGro CIC has created a selection of spud-based festive recipes that highlight the value and versatility of the nation’s favourite vegetable. From Pizza Party Potato Skins to use up festive leftovers to a sweet potato alternative to churros, a set of recipe cards will be given out to all 3,500 children attending the programme. And with the children’s participation, GoGro will recreate some of the recipes at ten of the sessions in the week before Christmas.

Eamonn Hunt, co-director of GoGro CIC said: “Unlike Santa, I can’t be everywhere at once this Christmas, but I want to pass on some essential cooking skills to as many people as possible. The HAF sessions are an ideal opportunity to engage with kids to help them learn more about creating healthy and cost-effective food for the whole family.”

“There are so many different dishes you can create with potatoes and sweet potatoes and they’re a really economical way to get some of the key nutrients you need.”

Lincolnshire County Council is running the HAF programme over the Christmas holidays, which supports children in the region who are eligible for free school meals. The cost of living crisis is affecting many and the school holidays can be a cause for concern for families, with parents forced to look at ever more cost-effective ways to keep their children fed and entertained whilst at home.

Cllr Mrs Patricia Bradwell OBE, executive member for children’s services at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “We’re very grateful to Branston for their ongoing support of the HAF programme. As well as providing the children with healthy meals and fun activities, one of our aims is to raise awareness of the importance of having a balanced diet, and the cookery workshops and recipe cards donated by Branston will help us achieve that. HAF providers really value this extra support, and I’m sure families will too.”

The government-funded HAF programme supports thousands of children across the county, who are invited to attend fun activity sessions across 122 venues in Lincolnshire, including sports centres, community halls and schools.

Simon Telfer, HR director at Branston, said: “Getting involved with the local community is incredibly important for us. Providing food education from a young age ensures children are aware of how their food is grown and the best ways to cook it.

Simon added: “It was important to us that we offered the children some skills and education as part of the programme. We’re pleased to have the involvement of Eamonn and Rob from GoGro to build a buzz around food. The aim of the sessions is to get kids passionate about what they’re eating and showing them that a simple spud can be turned into a tasty festive feast.”

The HAF programme is running Monday 19 December 2022 to Tuesday 3 January 2023 (excluding weekends and bank holidays) throughout the school holidays in the region. It is accessible to any child aged between five and 16 years in receipt of free school meals or other benefits related to free school meals such as young carers and refugees. You can find further details at

To find out more about GoGro CIC visit