School Holiday Enrichment Programme 'Food and Fun’

What is ‘Food and Fun’? 

‘Food and Fun’ is a school-based programme that provides good quality meals, food and nutrition sessions and physical activity 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 will produce a report in January 2017.

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‘ and ‘providing extended services with childcare ... and community access to facilities‘ within their Programme for Government.

What are the main benefits of ‘Food and Fun’?

  • Reduces ‘holiday hunger’ and social isolation
  • Provides intellectual stimulation
  • Promotes healthy lifestyle choices
  • Facilitates collaboration between agencies
  • Involves children in decision making
  • Makes better use of existing facilities
  • Encourages community engagement
  • Provides childcare, allowing parents to work
  • Offers paid and voluntary employment
  • Signposts to other services

SHEP Wales 2016 ‘Food and Fun’ Evaluation Report

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.

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 the Food in Schools Coordinator at the WLGA for more details on 029 2046 8684 or gareth.thomas@wlga.gov.uk 

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