Herts Sports Partnership (HSP) has begun delivering its award-winning ‘Fit, Fed and Read’ programme for children across the county.
The programme is based on the ‘Fit and Fed’ campaign delivered nationally by StreetGames. It aims to address the triple inequalities of holiday hunger, physical inactivity and social isolation experienced by young people, aged seven to 12, from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Fit, Fed and Read will be held throughout August at fire stations across 10 districts and boroughs thanks to support from Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Hertfordshire Libraries, Hertfordshire Constabulary, and Herts Catering Ltd, the principal supplier of school meals in the county.
It will provide a programme of sport and activities, fun literacy and education sessions and a nutritious lunch as part of a programme funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.
The programme is offered free of charge to local youngsters who are eligible for free school meals and there are opportunities each day for 200 young people across the county.
Local dignitaries and guests attended the official launch of the programme this week, and HSP Deputy Director Jane Shewring said: “We are delighted to be able to offer our Fit, Fed and Read programme across the county.
“Whilst for most of our young people, the summer holidays can be a time to enjoy life with family and friends, 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.”
Families that may be struggling to provide for their children over the summer holidays are being urged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 01707 284229.
Jane added: “Experience elsewhere across the county has shown the massive difference programmes like this can make, to the lives of our young people.”