Cheshire West and Chester is stepping up to support families this half term

27 October 2020

The Council, organisations and businesses across Cheshire West and Chester are stepping up to support the borough’s families during the pandemic.

A range of support is available to families throughout the half term, which parents can access on the Council website: The support is being led by The Welcome Network’s Holiday Grant Fund.

The Welcome Network aims to tackle food poverty, including holiday hunger, and has been funded by the Council since 2017.

The organisation has been offering grants of £1,000 to community food groups across Cheshire West and Chester to provide food to families for the holidays, from October to Easter.

Projects are already helping families at Lache Community Centre, Chester Cathedral, Rudheath and Witton Together, GGO Community Group Winsford and more.

Chester FC is also offering subsidised football camps at a lesser rate at the Deva Stadium over the half term as a result of their grant. This includes football skills training as well as a healthy lunch.

Cllr Robert Cernik, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “We want to continue to support families in Cheshire West and Chester throughout the half term. As a result of the Department for Education funding, over the 2020 summer holidays, Edsential provided a range of support to families through the Holiday Activity Fund, including over 40,000 breakfast packs and meal boxes, up from 28,000 in 2019, and an additional 31,000 food and activity boxes over the same period.

“This involved 46 commissioned partners, and 4,439 children were registered for support. Attendance days from children totalled 51,000, compared to 25,000 the year before.”

Edsential is a community interest company jointly owned by Cheshire West and Chester and Wirral councils which aims to change children’s lives through its services for children, headteachers, governors and parents.

Cllr Mandy Clare, Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Leader’s Champion for Poverty and Inequality, said: “The Council recently declared a Poverty Emergency, highlighting that tackling poverty is a key local priority. We have all been impacted by the Coronavirus crisis, but some residents have experienced greater impact than others. We want to make sure that people are supported and know that there is help available to them.”

Cllr Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, said: "Through our Welcome Network project, the Council has been investing in community food provision, including holiday hunger programmes, since 2017.

“These projects are rooted in local communities, where they support people in a dignified and compassionate way. It's about local people working together, to help each other. It has been amazing to see local businesses putting themselves forward to offer their support this week too.

"There is much work to do if we are to tackle the root causes of poverty in our society, and as well as supporting projects that help to alleviate immediate need, the Council is also promoting a Local Living Wage and embedding strategies which will create a more fair and equal borough."

For information on holiday food support:

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