Every holiday sees school-aged children and young people get a break from their studies, to spend time with their family and friends or maybe even on holiday. Most of us have fond memories of school holidays, but for many children across the UK the thought of time off school is becoming a daunting one.
Holiday hunger is on the rise. A recent NUT survey of teachers reports that over half of schools have pupils affected by this issue. More shockingly, 37% of affected pupils return to school following the holidays showing visible signs of malnourishment.
“Children should not have to come to school hungry in an advanced country” says one teacher in the survey. At Sporting Futures, we cannot support this statement more. Holiday hunger is just the beginning of the problem. Children and young people who go hungry then lose 80% of the fitness and concentration they gain in term-time.
So what are we doing about it? As part of the StreetGames UK network we are rolling out ‘Fit and Fed’, a national scheme which aims to keep school-aged children active, healthy, and most importantly full, during the school holidays.
This Easter we extended the provision of the Rother Active Youth (RAY) Holiday Programme to ensure all participants got a picnic every week day of the Easter holidays. We delivered a similar programme in Erewash during the February half term. Both of these areas lie within 10% most deprived wards across the country.
We are focusing our efforts on extending this programme across the county by applying for funding from local and national trusts. All sponsorship received from the Derby 10K is also going towards this cause. If you would like to make a donation, either monetary or by volunteering your time or facilities anywhere in the county, please get in touch so we can #EndHolidayHunger together.
See full survey results and findings here