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Wiltshire Council free FUEL programme for families in need

Wiltshire Council delivered a successful free holiday activity and food programme for children on free school meals across Wiltshire during the Easter holidays, funded by the Department for Education.

Published 14 May 2021
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The FUEL programme was available to any child currently attending a primary, secondary or special school in Wiltshire who receives benefits related free school meals. Just under 19,000 meals were delivered to 2,356 children from 1,380 families.

The children received a healthy food box, including both breakfast and lunch each day and an activity pack to enable them to be physically active at home during the holiday. The pack included online cookery and physical activity sessions, plus fun activities and challenges to participate in at home or whilst out on a daily walk.

Feedback from parents and children about the FUEL programme has been extremely positive, with 81% feeling that being part of the programme was beneficial to their children and family and 78% stating that their children were 'happy and had full tummies'.

Parents also reported that 63% had made healthier choices as a result of the programme and that 65% of children had tried and liked a new food.

Lucy Townsend, Director for People said, "The Easter FUEL programme offered young people across Wiltshire with the opportunity to stay active, engage in fun activities, as well as providing them with healthy food.

"We will be continuing to support Wiltshire families over the Summer holidays, many of whom are experiencing pressure due to increased costs and reduced incomes due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The FUEL programme will offer face-to-face activities and healthy food during the holiday for children on benefits related free school meals and eligible families will be able to sign up to the programme during June and July."

Lisa and her son Luke, who took part in the Easter FUEL programme said, "Thank you for the amazing food box, my son and I were really impressed with the box contents and is happily planning out his cooking schedule. He's had boiled eggs and toast for breakfast, as well, and I think we have pasta today to use with the white sauce he made yesterday watching your live cook-along."

The FUEL programme will be delivered again this Summer holidays and will include ten fun holiday activity camps across Wilshire that will run for four days across four weeks starting from 2 August.  The Summer programme details will be promoted through all schools in Wiltshire in due course.

For further information about the Holiday Activity and Food Programme in Wiltshire please email fuelprogramme@wiltshire.gov.uk

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Published 14 May 2021