Holiday Hardship – Building Futures
Before coronavirus, The Joseph Rowntree Trust reported that 14.5 million people in the UK were caught up in poverty, equating to more than one in five people. Unfortunately, the long-term effects of the pandemic will push many more families into poverty this summer.
Here at the Brick we want all children to have the best start in life, and enjoy a summer where they can relax, play and spend time with their families. But high costs especially for childcare and activities mean too many miss out on these experiences as their parents face impossible situations to try and get through the summer months and make ends meet.
Government data shows that from March to October last year more than 11,000 children became eligible for free school meals each week which prompted the lets #endchildfoodpoverty together campaign spearheaded by Marcus Rashford. The government responded by expanding its funded holiday club offer, available at no cost for children entitled to free school meals. Whilst this is a very welcome initiative, holiday hunger extends far beyond those children reliant on free school meals. There are 3 million children at risk this summer of food insecurity and of those 3 million, 2 million are from working households. Our longer term aim is to tackle the underlying issues causing poverty, and campaign on the injustices of the ‘working poor’. But the immediate need is greater, so first we are asking for your support so that this summer we can alleviate the burdens of all families by helping to #rebuildfutures.
The challenge for low-income families during the school holidays is not just the issue of providing healthy food but also accessing affordable things to do together, even simple activities such as sharing stories. Decades of research has linked childhood reading to future success, however at present one in eight disadvantaged children owns no books of his or her own, whilst one in four owns fewer than ten books. With libraries and schools closed during the pandemic, children from financially vulnerable backgrounds have been disadvantaged even further.
This summer we are offering a short term response to help deal with the immediate pressure on families and children:
- Free Kid’s books available across all our retail sites in Wigan and Leigh. Did you know that 383,775 children in the UK don’t have a single book of their own? Children who own books are six times more likely to read above the level expected for their age – but hundreds of thousands of children are missing out. Free books will be available at the following locations for ALL children to take free of charge (one per person please!) and when you have finished just bring it back and choose another! The Brick Works – 4 Hodson Street, Wigan WN3 4EN Mon – Fri 9.30 – 4.00pm, The Brick Shop – 160 Gidlow Lane, Wigan WN6 7EA Mon – Sat 9.30 – 4.30pm The Brick Shop – 13 Railway Road, Leigh WN7 1AA Mon – Sat 9.30 – 4.30pm
- Free Kid’s picnic lunch hamper’s available for collection from The Brick Works throughout the summer holidays. The Brick Works – 4 Hodson Street, Wigan WN3 4EN Mon – Fri 9.30 – 4.00pm
- All Kids eat free throughout August at The Hive Café. Adult meals starting at £1 for Mums, Dads, Grandparents, Carers. The Hive Cafe, The Brick Works – 4 Hodson Street, Wigan WN3 4EN Mon – Fri 10am – 2pm
- Emergency food parcels supplemented with highly nutritious food items and snacks, fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs and bread for the WHOLE family.
Support our campaign #RebuildingFutures for families and individuals in Wigan and Leigh. Just Giving > www.justgiving.com/campaign/holidayhardship2021