This article was first published in the Sports & Education Trust's programme pages on Saturday 2nd September.
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, 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 project, so we could help the local children of High Wycombe.
The Fit & Fed project looked to help families that felt the pinch around the holidays, working with local organisations such as Red Kite, 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 people lose 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 day this summer saw 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 so they could 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!
Not only did the children enjoy making their own food, the company Greggs were very generous and provided crate loads of goodies every Wednesday as a little treat to the children and I am sure you can imagine... the staff as well couldn’t miss out on this!.
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.
By the end of the summer the Fit & Fed project managed to impact around 130 children and their families and we hopefully look to grow this number each year 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 summer 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”.
Our Funding Partner Red Kite:
Red Kite Community Housing is a tenant-led, not for profit, charitable housing association that owns and manages more than 6,700 homes in the Wycombe District. Their homes are mainly on estates in the urban centres of High Wycombe, Princes Risborough and Marlow, with others on estates in rural areas such as Lane End, Stokenchurch and Bourne End. We have a number of sheltered housing schemes which are located across the district.
Todd Ricketts, Community Investment Manager said:
“We were very happy to contribute towards the funding of this worthwhile project, and looked forward to working with Wycombe Wanderers Sports & Education Trust (WWSET) this summer. The Fit & Fed project combined food, education and physical activity for those who truly needed it in the summer holidays, and as this pilot project started this summer, we hope to use the information we gained to create an ongoing partnership with WWSET for the foreseeable future.”