Stevenage Community Trust launch free Brunch and Crunch initiative to help families visiting play schemes over summer holidays

From left, Sharon Bell from Stevenages children centres, the Stevenage Educational Trusts Shelagh Ma

From left, Sharon Bell from Stevenages children centres, the Stevenage Educational Trusts Shelagh Mackay, SCTs Caroline Haskins and James Jeffrey, a play worker from Stevenage Borough Council. - Credit: Archant

Children who attend play schemes in Stevenage will be munching on healthy cereals, fruit and wholemeal toast in the mornings thanks to a new scheme being co-ordinated by the Stevenage Community Trust.

The project will see every child get a free nutritious breakfast to help set them up for the day’s fun during the entire six-week summer holiday.

‘Brunch and Crunch’ was trialled during the May half term holidays and SCT says the feedback was excellent.

Caroline Haskins from the community trust said: “It came about after I met with people from Stevenage schools and children’s centres and talked about the need for breakfast clubs in schools.

“We thought if children weren’t necessarily getting breakfast at home in term times when they would be getting free school meals, then what’s happening in the school holidays when they don’t always get a healthy breakfast or free school meal?

“And it’s not just about underprivileged families, often families from wealthier backgrounds are so busy that the children have to fend themselves.”

The scheme is a partnership between SCT, Stevenage Borough Council’s play services, Stevenage’s children’s centres and the Stevenage Educational Trust.

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All children up to the age of 14 attending the play schemes will be offered a choice of breakfast which will include a variety of cereals and scrambled egg on toast. They will also receive a piece of fruit during both the morning and afternoon sessions.

On hearing about the project, Russell Zaple – general manager of Allied Bakeries in Stevenage – generously offered to provide the 480 loaves of bread needed.

Shelagh Mackay from the Stevenage Educational Trust added: “The ‘Brunch and Crunch’ initiative sponsored by the Stevenage Community Trust is an excellent example of partnership working to ensure that vulnerable children do not slip through the net over the school holidays.”

The summer play schemes operate at Bandley Hill, Pin Green, St Nicholas, Bedwell and Symonds Green.

They start on Monday and finish on August 26.

SCT is also supplying activity bags for parents and children attending Stevenage South children’s centres over the summer holidays.

Each week families will receive a different activity bag for children to try new things including cooking, exploring, gardening, writing and physical activities.

They will contain equipment needed for each activity and instruction leaflets.

For more information about the play schemes and children’s centres visit