BCF Keeps Children Fit and Fed

Throughout the summer break our community team (Blaze Community Foundation) have been delivering a holiday scheme to children with special needs free of charge. The project has been widely supported by Children in Need and enables parents/carers to work throughout the summer without having to worry about childcare fees. The project was delivered by our qualified BCF staff which gave all children access to a wide variety of sporting opportunities, through various tasks and activities the holiday scheme has helped children to; reduce isolation, improve confidence and improve relationships with other participants.

As part of the project BCF have been providing vital knowledge on healthy living and the impacts of eating healthy food on a regular basis. Sports Development Manager Sam Hewitt was contacted by StreetGames prior to the summer holidays about a new ‘Fit and Fed’ project that was been run as a trial to see if Blaze as an organisation could provide food as part of their summer holiday scheme.

How did the idea come about from StreetGames?

“During the summer holidays, the wellbeing and quality of life of children and young people in the UK’s poorest neighbourhoods is blighted by a double inequality. 73% of the poorest families cannot afford to feed their children, and when they do eat they eat badly. Holidays are also lonely times when families cannot afford to pay for extra-curricular activities; children have nowhere to go during the holidays and have to stay in. Adding to this, children and young people go back to school not ready or able to learn and fall even further behind their wealthier peers.”

The Fit and Fed project has been closely supported by many health organisations already; with them insisting that healthy meals need to be provided throughout the school holidays so that it resembles the hard work being implemented in the school meals. Sam Hewitt and Josh Saydraouten (StreetGames representive) worked closely together to get Fit and Fed underway to ensure that Blaze as an organisation could do their best to help support this vital project.

Blaze Community Foundation provided food for all children on a daily basis (Monday – Friday) throughout the summer holidays giving children the opportunity to experience what Blaze players would be eating on a regular basis throughout the season. Children also learnt about food preparation and the different food groups through the duration of this project.

Sam Hewitt – Sports Development Manager (Blaze Community Foundation) said:

 “The Fit and Fed project overall was a great success with all children engaging in the targets that we set out to achieve. It was a great cause to be part of and we are eager to continue supporting this project in the near future. I will be attending a national meeting for this project joining other large sports organisations from across England who have also ran this project during the summer holidays, so we can compare how effective the project was as a whole was. Overall we are all hoping to be part of the driving force of this great cause and to hopefully help spread the word of this vital project.

"I would like to take time to personally thank a Blaze Sponsor ‘Subway’ who actually supplied us on Friday afternoons with a free healthy pack lunch for each child that attended on those days. It was great to see such a big franchise such as Subway also eager to be involved in the project and it proves that with more awareness this project can turn out to be a great success.” 

What does the future hold for the Fit and Fed programme?

David White – StreetGames Representive (Head of Fit and Fed Project) commented:

“Starting in summer 2017, StreetGames is going to begin tackling this problem. Our new national programme, Fit and Fed, will train local leaders to deliver Doorstep Sport, organise a healthy meal for participants each day, and develop and utilise the talents of volunteers young and old to improve the wellbeing and quality of life of a generation of young people growing up in poverty. It will also give parents peace of mind, and develop resilience in its participants, giving them the skills and confidence to succeed in life. Children and young people will go back to school ready to learn, and ready to succeed. Fit and Fed aims to provide 500,000 meals to 15,000 participants over the summer holidays 2017.”