DfE launches £2m summer holiday youth projects

By Neil Puffett

| 30 July 2018

A range of projects designed to provide healthy meals and activities for disadvantaged families during the school holidays have been launched as part of a £2m government pilot programme.

A range of projects will provide activities and free meals for the most disadvantaged families this summer as part of a government initiative. Picture: Mayor's Fund for London

The money will be used to fund a range of projects providing activities such as free football classes, play sessions and cooking classes. The projects will also provide free meals for the most disadvantaged families who may rely on free school meals they receive during term time.

The funding has been allocated to seven charities - StreetGames, Feeding Britain, Family Action, Children North East, OnSide Youth Zones, Birmingham Holiday Kitchen, and Transforming Lives for Good - to work in some of the most disadvantaged areas in the country including the North East, Birmingham and London.

The government has said it also plans to run a further pilot programme in the 2019 Easter and summer holidays in order to test the effectiveness of interventions, assess take-up of provision, identify the costs involved, and consider whether there are particular areas where this kind of programme would be most effective. Details of the bidding process for participation in the 2019 Easter and summer pilots will be announced in due course.

Children's minister Nadhim Zahawi said: "For most pupils, the end of the school summer term signals the start of holidays, days out and a chance to make memories with friends and family. Other families, who might rely on the support provided by schools, are not so lucky.

"These projects will provide a range of support for families during the summer break. They will also give children access to experiences that won't just create great memories but will help broaden their horizons and build the confidence they need to succeed in whatever path they choose to follow."

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Projects providing activities and food are already running in some parts of the country. Kitchen Social, which is supported by the Mayor's Fund for London, aims to feed a minimum of 50,000 children across all 33 London boroughs by 2020.

Kim Chaplain, director of charitable portfolio at the Mayor's Fund for London, said: "Ensuring that children have a healthy, active and positive start to life is of critical importance to the wellbeing of everyone in our city and we know that grassroots community organisations play a significant role in this area.
 
"We've seen what happens at the frontline when people go hungry, and have learned a lot through our Kitchen Social programme, working with over 100 community organisations targeting some of the hardest to reach children during the school holidays.
 
"We welcome the DfE's £2m fund and look forward to sharing our learnings and experience with DfE appointed pilot schemes."

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