We were delighted that Feast of Fun won the Middlesbrough Council Civic Community Award for Improving the Health & Well-being of Residents. Heather Black received the award along with Elaine Curry and Val Oliver who help to run Feast of Fun in their churches. On receiving the award Heather said:

“This is wonderful recognition for all the hard work and commitment of staff and volunteers in local churches and community groups that are dedicated to supporting families during the school holidays with fantastic fun activities and a feast of healthy food.”

Here is the citation that was read out at the awards.

Feast of Fun is a grass-roots project that began in 2014 to offer holiday activities and healthy food for children in low income families, who struggle during the summer holidays without free school meals. In 2014, there were just 6 churches involved supporting 250 children and their families and in 2018 there were 23 churches, community groups and schools offering support to 1,000 children and families.

In each Feast of Fun venue, local volunteers work together to create a safe space for children to have fun and learn together, with exciting themes such as Around the World and the Wild West! Church and community halls are transformed into imaginary worlds where children can go on an adventure to another place, they enjoy a wide range of activities with games, sport, music, drama, dance, cooking and art, learning together in a fun-filled environment. Family trips are organised to places like the North York Moors and the Bowes Museum, giving families the opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities, which they could not otherwise afford.

Every day a healthy meal is prepared, so that children and their family can enjoy eating a nutritious meal together with other people in their community. More than half of the volunteers involved are older people who want to offer support to local families. The time spent together as families and as a community helps to build stronger relationships and reduces the loneliness and isolation many families face during the long summer holidays. Parents say how important Feast of Fun is, helping them financially with food and activities and also reduced stress knowing that their children are safe and happy, and having opportunities to grow and learn together. Feast of Fun helps to make our communities safer, stronger and happier for so many children and their families each summer.