Children's Fit, Fed and Read scheme for Hertfordshire's struggling families
PUBLISHED: 08:30 14 August 2019 | UPDATED: 08:32 14 August 2019
Struggling parents are invited to sign their children up to a programme designed to address holiday hunger, physical inactivity and social isolation experienced by some of Hertfordshire's most vulnerable and disadvantaged young people.
The Fit, Fed and Read programme is a series of activities for seven to 12 year olds, organised by the Herts Sports Partnership and held at fire stations across Hertfordshire.
With the support of the Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Hertfordshire Libraries, Hertfordshire Constabulary and Herts Catering Ltd - the principal supplier of school meals in the county - it provides a programme of sport and activities, fun literacy and education sessions and a nutritious lunch.
The programme, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, is offered free of charge to children aged seven to 12 who are eligible for free school meals, and there are daily opportunities for 200 young people across the county.
Herts Sports Partnership's deputy director, Jane Shewring, said: "We are delighted to be able to offer our Fit, Fed and Read programme across the county.
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"While for most of our young people the summer holidays can be a time to enjoy life with family and friends, and partake in overseas holidays and new experiences, for others it can be a rather miserable existence.
"Too many of our young people are left vulnerable and isolated when the support of their school is removed.
"Research shows that the intellectual, emotional and physical development of some of those young people can be thwarted as a result, and holiday hunger - often linked to in-work poverty - is a real issue within some of our families.
"With the support of the National Lottery players and our key partner organisations, we can offer these programmes across Hertfordshire, and with it some fantastic opportunities for local youngsters.
"I would urge any families who may be struggling to provide for their children over the summer holidays to contact my team at the very earliest time by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01707 284229.
"Experience has shown the massive difference programmes like this can make to the lives of our young people."