Fit and Fed is a response to Street Games’ growing body of research on the triple inequalities of holiday hunger, isolation, and inactivity.
Back in June 2017, WWSET managed to obtain £3000 from Red Kite Housing Community Housing and £2000 from a Tesco funding scheme to be able to fund our Fit & Fed summer pilot project, so we could help the local children of High Wycombe. We have now been fortunate to have received further funding from Housing associations Red Kite, Paradigm and Home Group, as well as Ella’s Kitchen, Marsh & Micklefield Big Local and Wycombe District Council, in order to keep the sessions going since the summer pilot and continue to develop and grow the project. Since last year we have managed to expand to include a new hub at Beechview Academy and add on an after-school club at the academy to increase our offering.
The Fit & Fed project looks to help families that “feel the pinch”, working with two CIC’s, Empower to Cook and Khepera to provide children and their families with cooking tutorials, fun physical activities and a free meal for the whole family, ensuring children went back to school fit and healthy.
It is staggering to think 60% of families with an annual income of less than £25,000 can’t always afford food during the holidays, and that young person loses up to 80% of their fitness during the school summer holidays. Something we hoped the Fit and Fed Project will reduce and bring our community together at the same time.
Each Fit and Fed day has Sam Parker, our Health Manager, a representative from Empower to cook and Khepera, and a band of willing volunteers bring fresh food and ingredients down to Castlefield Community Centre or Beechview Academy so they can provide cooking lessons and tutorials to the children that attended the project, teaching them the basic skills necessary for later in their lives to use and be helpful to them. Not only did they cook simple recipes such as vegetables, pasta, and salads, they managed to cook stews and make smoothies too. The best bit was that they could eat all the meals they made at the end!
Alongside the healthy cooking, the Fit & Fed staff also supplied the children with fun activities to ensure they were active and developed their fitness level whilst enjoying and playing fun games and sports.
So far (one year since we have started) we have served over 700 meals and supported many families throughout the holidays and we hopefully look to grow this number each year (as well as starting our after school programme soon) helping the families of the local areas of High Wycombe.
Sam Parker, WWSET Community Health Manager said:
“It was a privilege and a pleasure to deliver this project for the local children and help the families that struggle financially to feed their children through the holiday periods.
With this project hopefully we have managed to ensure all the children who came to us were kept fit, they ate well but were also educated along the way”.
WWSET look to continue this fantastic programme – funding dependent.