What is ‘Food and Fun’?
‘Food and Fun’ is a school-based programme that provides good quality meals, food and nutrition sessions, physical activity and enrichment sessions to children in deprived areas during the summer holidays.
The SHEP model was developed and piloted by the Food Cardiff partnership in 2015 and has won numerous national awards from the health and catering sectors. In 2016 the WLGA piloted this model nationally in 10 schools, working with five local authorities and three local health boards. Cardiff University provided the evaluation and produced the SHEP Wales 2016 'Food and Fun' Evaluation Report in January 2017.
The Welsh Government has part funded a further roll out of SHEP in 2017 to 39 school settings across 12 local authorities in all 7 regional health boards, enabling approximately 1500 children to access at least 12 days of Food and Fun over the six week summer holiday.
Why is ‘Food and Fun’ Needed?
During the school holidays, when Free Breakfast in Primary Schools and Free School Meals are not available, some families struggle to afford or access food that provides a healthy diet. Some children also experience social isolation and a lack of intellectual stimulation, normally provided by school or family enrichment activities, and this may contribute to widening the attainment gap.
Food poverty is a growing issue in Wales, as indicated by the increasing use of food banks. The Welsh Government have taken steps to tackle this issue by establishing a Welsh Food Poverty Alliance and committing to ‘work with schools to promote activity and awareness of the importance of healthy lifestyle choices‘.
Food and Fun clubs address three major policy priorities identified by the Public Policy Institute for Wales in 2016: food insecurity, the under-use of school facilities to provide community based services, and the emotional wellbeing of primary school children. Food and Fun can assist Public Services Boards in delivering against the 7 wellbeing goals of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 in line with the 5 sustainable development principles.
What are the main benefits of ‘Food and Fun’?
- Reduces ‘holiday hunger’ and social isolation
- Provides intellectual stimulation
- Promotes healthy lifestyle choices
- Offers fun and physical activity
- Facilitates collaboration between agencies
- Involves children in decision making
- Makes better use of existing facilities
- Encourages community engagement
- Offers paid and voluntary employment
- Signposts to other services
SHEP Wales 2017 ‘Food and Fun’ National Event
The WLGA, in conjunction with the Welsh Government and Food Cardiff partnership, held the inaugural SHEP Wales Event in Cardiff on 8th February 2017 to share the outcomes of the SHEP Wales 2016 pilot and bring together stakeholders from across Wales to discuss the initial roll out in 2017. The target audience for this event were operational personnel from local authority catering providers, local health board dietetics teams, sport/physical activity/play teams, Communities First teams, Welsh Network of Healthy School Practitioners and Head Teachers/potential SHEP Coordinators for schools interested in offering SHEP in 2017. There are plans to hold a second national event this winter.
Links: Outcomes of SHEP Wales 2016 - Cardiff University / A Wales Fit for Children - Children's Commissioner / What is SHEP / SHEP Wales Roll Out - Gareth Thomas / UK Context - Lindsay Graham
Please contact Christina Powdrill, SHEP (School Holiday Enrichment Programme) Coordinator at the WLGA for more details on 029 2046 8678 or firstname.lastname@example.org