MAJOR BOOST TO THE CAMPAIGN FOR A RURAL STRATEGY:
The Independent Food, Farming & Countryside Commission hosted by the RSA in its report launched on Tuesday 16th July ‘Our Future in the Land’ has added its voice to the calls by the RSN and the House of Lords Select Committee for a comprehensive Rural Strategy (more to follow)
Following the shocking recent publication of levels of child poverty across Derbyshire, Feeding Derbyshire has teamed up with Feeding Britain, a national charity, to facilitate a summer of activity, learning and fun for children at risk of missing out.
They have set an ambitious national target of £50,000, £10,000 of which will contribute to supporting 8325 children and 26 clubs across Derbyshire to provide 11490 meals and 400 activities throughout the school holidays.
It is a local response to a national issue with 3 million children at risk of hunger over the holidays, as the lack of free school meals and the additional child-care costs stretch groaning family budgets.
This Crowdfunding campaign is just part of the work that goes on all year round delivered by the Feeding Derbyshire programme. But the six week school summer holiday period is the main focus for this piece of fundraising. The money that is raised will ensure children will have access to basic but nutritious meals and the activities will keep them entertained.
Feeding Derbyshire has ambitious plans over the summer with a range of indoor and outdoor activities including arts and crafts, family reading & story-telling, climbing walls, magician, games and sports, den building, mask and puppet making, cook and eat workshops, mad science, dance, making hanging baskets and flower troughs, growing and allotment visits and more!
Crucially, the children will be provided with nutritious meals and encouraged to get involved with cooking, growing and other food related activities. There is also scope for family involvement too as volunteers, helping prepare food and support the adult education activities, cooking on a budget, meal planning, community wellness, social eating and lifestyle activities.
Evidence shows that hunger during the summer months may exacerbate inequalities that already exist between children from wealthier and poorer backgrounds. The children most at risk of hunger may also suffer from social isolation, loneliness, and inactivity. These factors combined can lead to significant weight loss or gain, and negative impacts on physical and mental wellbeing.
The Crowdfunding campaign has just been launched by Feeding Britain, raising money for, and with the support of its networks across Derbyshire as well as in Barnsley, Coventry, Leicester and South Tyneside.
To get involved you can volunteer to help at the holiday clubs or donate to the Crowdfunding campaign (please indicate you would your money to go to Derbyshire holiday clubs) www.crowdfunder.co.uk/healthy-holidays-summer-2019. Please share this link via email, social media channels or good old fashioned word of mouth to make sure Derbyshire children get the much needed money to provide these fantastic holiday clubs. This Crowdfunding campaign only runs until 25th June, so not much time to raise an ambitious amount of money.
Quote from a Mum in the High Peak, “I was feeling isolated at home during the school holidays and the children were bored. I heard about the Holiday Club, that there were activities and food so I thought that I’d go along.
“It was so nice that I didn’t have to worry about packed lunches as school holidays can be stressful and expensive. . . . Not only did my children enjoy the activities on offer, but I did as well. They lowered my anxiety levels so I can relax as the children are busy and happy too”.
“At first I felt nervous but the group is friendly and I have made friends. The food offered is lovely, the snacks are healthy and are always displayed nicely and the picnic bags for the children are great! We even made bread. I will definitely keep coming”.
Jacqui Bell from Feeding Derbyshire said; “Ending ‘holiday hunger’ in the county is a major part of the Feeding Derbyshire plan. We know 15% of school age children in Derbyshire are eligible for free school meals – that’s over 9,000 children. When you think that the school holidays and weekends equate to around 170 days per year the impact is significant. Research clearly shows that children who regularly miss out on meals and arrive at school hungry and thirsty are at a significant disadvantage, lacking concentration and the ability to learn.
“During protracted school holiday periods such as the summer holidays the impact can be even greater with evidence of children returning undernourished and underweight. It seems plain to us that this restricts a child's chances of doing well at school and their quality of life, now and into the future.”
Quote from Feeding Britain, “Holiday clubs make an enormous difference to children and their families, not only by providing a community space and nutritious meals, but also that they provide enriching activities. Holidays should be about fun, laughter and development outside the curriculum and every child should have these opportunities regardless of background. This is not just an issue of food poverty, but one of social mobility too.”
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