Free Fun and Food at Christmas activity proves a success

Nottingham Forest Community Trust is delighted to report successful feedback from the ‘Free Food Fun Nottingham’ programme, delivered across the city in the build up to Christmas, with 100% of parents stating they’d bring their children to future activities.

The project is part of the Government’s ‘Holiday Activity and Food’ programme, which pledges to provide children from reception age upwards who are in receipt of free school meals, with a range of free activities and a nutritious meal during every school holiday.

The programme aims to reduce social isolation and ensure that attending participants eat healthily and be active over the school holidays, as well as giving them the opportunity to take part in engaging and enriching activities which supports the development of resilience, character and wellbeing along with their wider educational attainment.

During the Christmas period, we joined forces with other local partners to deliver 25 different sports and creative arts sessions to participants, ranging from basketball sessions with Nottingham Hoods, to drama workshops with Nottingham Playhouse.

A total of 1,108 youngsters engaged in the activities with 2,800 meals served over the four days. In addition, families also had the opportunity to collect free food hampers from three sites across the city, with 1,667 children receiving a food pack which contained nutritious snacks and Nottingham Forest goodies.

Graham Moran, Nottingham Forest Community Trust CEO said “I’m delighted that our Free Fun Food Nottingham campaign has again proved to be a success as we strive to provide engaging activities across the city.

“Working with key partners has really allowed us to offer a wide and diverse range of experiences for young people which was really well received, it’s something we’ll look to continue going forwards.

“We’re proud and delighted to see that 86% of people found the variety of activities on offer was great, whilst 91% of people believed the programme benefitted their child in a positive manner.”

Katie Ritchie, parent, said “My children were beyond happy with everything that was offered. It was so lovely to see my boys absolutely buzzing with all the activities they had completed.

“I was amazed that rock climbing and medieval activities were on offer, this is something I may have not been able to afford. It really made my Christmas seeing my children so happy each day after they had finished, and the gifts each day were overwhelming. They loved it.”

Kelly John Baptise added “This is an absolutely fantastic programme, accessible and free. My three children came home happy and I’m happy that they got to experience activities such as rock climbing.

“This is something they would never get to try as I can’t always afford to pay for extra activities so I have to rely on what school offer.”

A third parent, commented “My son attended and absolutely loved it! I booked my friends son in who was visiting from across town on the first day to help my son settle in as he was nervous for the first attendance.

“They both loved it so much I had my friends son stay over with me for an extra three days so he could attend the other sessions.

“The team did an amazing job and really engaged with the children and made it really exciting. All I can say is thank you and can’t fault anything, the activities and support was really well put together.”

In addition to the range of sessions on offer during the day, Nottingham Forest Community Trust offered participants the opportunity for further experiences, handing out 1,500 tickets for Forest’s festive fixtures, giving young people the opportunity to sample Sky Bet Championship action, with many taking in their first ever live football match.

Free Fun and Food at Christmas activity proves a success

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