More Food and Fun schemes than ever will be run across Wales during the summer holidays, giving young people opportunities to socialise and enjoy healthy nutritious meals and Blaenau Gwent are joining in on the fun.
Food and Fun is a school-based programme which is part funded by Welsh Government, matched funded by Councils and co-ordinated by the Welsh Local Government Association. The schemes are delivered locally by school staff and partners, providing healthy meals, food and nutrition education and physical activity to children in a fun social environment during the school summer holidays.
Blaenau Gwent are embracing the Food and Fun ethos in four schools across the Borough. Schools involved this year are; Blaen-y-Cwm Primary in Brynmawr, Rhos-y-Fedwen Primary in Rassau, Abertillery Learning Community (primary campuses) and Willowtown Primary in Ebbw Vale. Around 160 pupils and families are taking part with the ethos being centred around activities based around fitness, healthy eating and appreciating the environment.
Staff from the participating schools lead the programme, with support from the Council for catering and cleaning. Children are provided with a healthy breakfast and lunch and nutritious snacks as part of the day. Aneurin Leisure Trust are once again this year organising the sports and fitness element of the scheme, with activities such as netball, rugby, foot golf and days out to local parks among the many items arranged for all children.
The children are taught how to cook basic healthy meals and on family engagement days parents are invited to join the children for the day along with their siblings. Representatives from the local food bank also come in to demonstrate what healthy nutritious meals can be made from the food bank boxes.
Since it was first piloted in 2016, the programme has grown rapidly year-on-year, with 4,200 pupils set to benefit from local schemes in their areas across Wales this summer. This means that 48% more pupils than last year will be benefitting from the opportunities provided by the programme this summer. Blaenau Gwent had two schools taking part in the scheme last year and this year we have doubled the schools to four.
Councillor Joanne Collins, Blaenau Gwent Council’s Executive Member for Education says:
“The School Holiday Enrichment Programme is a fun and engaging way to keep children happy, healthy and active during the summer break and as a mum of two young boys I know that isn’t always easy! We had some great feedback from the children and families that were involved last year so I’m delighted that thanks to some great partnership work we are able to offer the scheme again in Blaenau Gwent and to more children this time. Thanks to everyone who has made this possible and I hope everyone has a great time!”
Mrs Jones a parent at Rhos-y-Fedwen Primary School, Rassau said:
“This scheme is simply wonderful. My little boy comes home every day and tells me about all the wonderful things he has been learning including the nutritional information they have been taught. When we signed up for the scheme, I didn’t think he would want to go as it’s the school holidays but he is first up in the mornings and excited to see what’s happening that day. The school meals have been excellent and the activities put on by the school and local authority are superb. I am hoping this scheme will continue to run at our school.”