Since moving to four services we have been looking for different ways to get involved with our local communities and help contribute to making our parts of London great places to live for everyone, especially those who need the most help and support.
Emily, a teacher who is part of the South Service, was looking for a way to use her school holidays to make a difference in her local area and came across MakeLunch, a Christian charity that helps churches provide lunches in school holidays for children who normally receive free school meals.
About 1.2 million children in the UK benefit from free school meals, but when school is closed, so are the kitchens. This means that holidays can place an extra burden on families who are already stretched, and can even lead to children missing meals altogether.
Emily wondered if we could do something about ‘holiday hunger’ in South London and so this summer ChristChurch is going to trial running a lunch club for three dates in the primary school closest to the South Service.
This school has a high number of children eligible for free school meals. Almost 30% are currently eligible whilst 55% have been eligible at some point in the last 6 years, compared with a national average of around 14%. The Head Teacher is really keen to provide something during the holidays that will not only give a bit of assistance to those families who might be struggling over the summer, but will also provide a space for families to eat together, get to know one another, and to strengthen their relationship with the school.
We have offered to help the school make a hot and healthy lunch for 100 children and parents, as well as run fun activities for the kids, so we are on the lookout for volunteers who will be able to give a few hours of their time on one or all of the last three Thursdays of August (17th, 24th, & 31st).
If you are at all interested, please get in touch and I’ll give you some more information and send you an application form.
Full Disclosure: The school we are working with is the school where we send our eldest daughter. We have a great relationship with the Head Teacher and so this seemed like the best place to start but we would love to roll this out to other parts of London too!