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Tackling hunger in York with YCFC

5th November 2018

When you think of the school holidays you think of fun and a time for children to recharge, ready to start school with renewed energy, but for many families on a low income this is not the reality.

There are approximately 170 non-school days a year where children cannot access free school meals, which puts a lot of pressure on families that rely on these. Many families also suffer social isolation during the school holidays, as they cannot afford to do activities or take their children on days out, meaning children spend a lot of time indoors or isolated from friends.

YCFC Foundation embarked on a plan to address this with their “Triple F” Holiday Club. The Club began during the Summer holidays in the Clifton area supported by Rawcliffe without Clifton and Clifton Wards, and has run again during October half term with further backing from health and wellbeing organisation, Benenden Health.

The “Footie Fun & Food” Activity sessions ran on Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd November from the sports hall at Vale of York Academy 10am-12noon for 4-7 year olds and 1-3pm for 8-12 year olds for young people attending one of the Clifton cluster of schools (Burton Green, Clifton Green, Clifton with Rawcliffe, Lakeside or Vale of York Academy). The sessions are suitable for all abilities and are fun and engaging. Snacks and drinks will be provided to all young people booked on to the course.

Paula Stainton, YCFC Foundation Manager said: “This is a continuation of the fantastic work we achieved with Benenden Health last season, which enabled us to provide 152 days of free activity to over 40 families with many of the families dealing with incredible pressures. The funded holiday days were able to provide the young people with a chance to learn new skills, make new friends and have a break from their usual realities as well as providing parents with a welcome break and more time with other siblings.”

“The young people came from a variety of backgrounds and home lives, and we were able to use the power of football as a positive influence to engage them and allow them to potentially try new things; meet new people and gain new skills. Our biggest compliment comes from the smiles on the young people’s faces and comments that they don’t want to leave!”

Nikki Taylor, CSR & Engagement Coordinator at Benenden Health said: “It’s so important that children from low income families are given the same opportunities for a nutritious meal and social interaction as children from other backgrounds. This project resonates with our values as a health and wellbeing mutual and it has inspired us to get involved.

“As a leading health and wellbeing organisation, Benenden Health aims to support a range of local projects or activities that have a real impact on the communities which they aim to help.

Learn more about the York City Football Club Foundation.