Summer food and activities scheme for youngsters of families struggling to make ends meet
Children on free school meals will be able to access a special programme that will feed and entertain them through August.
Alan Gregory of Pianos, Pies and Pirouettes CIC has teamed up with Wigan and Leigh Community Charity to host the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) scheme in Bickershaw running for four weeks starting on August 1.
The government-funded scheme is delivered by local authorities to relieve the pressure on parents throughout the school holidays, recognising the hardship many face during this time, especially amid the ongoing cost of living crisis.
Providing healthy food and enriching activities ensures that children partaking in the programme have access to nutritious food as well as fun during the holidays. Good nutrition is essential for a child’s health and development, helping them fulfil their potential in life.
Previously organised for the Easter holidays, Alan and the council both saw the potential that HAF has, and so Alan has been given the reins along with a mother of a child involved in the scheme to supervise the catering .
With support from David Baxter and his team at WLCC and the backing of Bickershaw Village Club, the mother has been able to re-open the cafe which had been shut since the start of the pandemic.
Due to Alan’s flair for performing arts the activities on offer will mostly revolve around that of a production, with Vince Cleghorne assisting in writing the play on the Monday morning of each week.
David will also have a hand in the act where he will help write a song to feature in it, having worked at The Hammond in Chester. Each week on a Thursday the children will perform their show for parents.
For those who aren’t inclined to perform, both the Wigan Warriors and Media Cubs will be present on Tuesday mornings and Friday afternoons respectively, allowing the scholars to learn about the sport at the heart of the town and to give them a taste of the media industry.
Alan said: “These schemes provide so much support to families in our community, but they are often Wigan-based making it harder for parents and children to attend, our neighborhoods need help too!”