It has been an eventful couple of months. Since the last update, ALMT partners have been busy ensuring that support is given to those who need it the most this winter and they have achieved phenomenal results:
- Before Christmas, Norah’s Northpolebought and distributed 3,000 presents for children across Packing, sorting, wrapping and distributing sensitively to parents – a huge achievement. Watch this clip to see the scale of the operation: https://fb.watch/iAMUBizHif/ Nick joined Thorney Close Primary School in March as they took 115 children to see the Lion King in Sunderland. Enrichment opportunities are increasingly rare for many families; out of the 115 children who went to see the show, only one had ever been to the theatre before.
- Meanwhile in London, Miracles managed to distribute Feed London boxes to 220 families in December and a further 163 in April. Eligible families face multiple challenges and have little or no access to public funds. The boxes include enough food for over six hot meals as well as supermarket vouchers and treats for all of the family. Miracles is also working closely with Hackney Ark, Royal Marsden Children’s and Young Peoples Unit, Homerton Hospital and Hestia to provide targeted emergency support for families facing a significant life crisis; often triggered by the diagnosis of a child’s illness.
- Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University(HCU) worked with local schools to identify struggling families and distribute crisis funding of £250 to 304 families across Hull; this number continues to grow. Families have been able to choose whether to have fuel vouchers, food vouchers or a combination of the two. A further 40 families received support in March.
- Young people facing homelessness have multiple challenges and, as fuel costs soar, the struggle to keep warm is much harder. Streetlife inBlackpool has extended the opening hours of its day centre so that every afternoon young people can access a warm space a hot meal and constructive activities. Since extending the hours, the centre has seen about 25 young people using the warm hub every afternoon. Unfortunately the Lifeshare project in Manchester was unable to go ahead and so the ALMT increased the level of support for Streetlife to provide cookery courses and store cupboard basics for young people.
- Campaign funds have also been received by the Katherine Low Settlement (KLS) in Battersea. The KLS team is providing pre-cooked meals that refugee families can heat up at home so that children are able to get a hot meal in the evening. They reached 47 families (181 children and 65 adults) were provided with 855 meals freshly provided by local restaurants. Support was especially appreciated during the month of Ramadan with one parent saying ‘“Thank you so much. It is a big relief that I don’t have to worry about how to feed the children this month”.
- And finally, Restore Hope in Buckinghamshire provided a full Christmas meal with gifts for 150 people in December and continue to deliver fortnightly food boxes to 140 families in Buckinghamshire. They are also working to extend their chicken coops so that they can provide eggs in perpetuity with every one of their Food Life boxes.
Rebecca from the ALMT visited Hull and Blackpool at the end of January to see a couple of the projects in action:
“It was an emotional experience hearing about, and seeing, the impact of the funding first hand. The HCU team were inspiring in their dedication to supporting local families and the office was packed to the rafters with warm winter coats waiting to go to schools. I got a real sense of the amount of work it has taken to distribute the funds to those in need so quickly. The following day, I travelled across country to a bitterly cold Blackpool to visit Streetlife; the weather really emphasised the importance of their warm hub. Again, I was really impressed by the centre which was warm and welcoming with a group of young people actively engaging in the activities on offer.’
These projects continue to make a huge difference to children, young people and families across the country this winter – none of which would have been possible without your support – THANK YOU.
Photo credits from left to right: Restore Hope Christmas party; Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University meeting the Lord Mayor of Hull; The contents of a Feed London box