Over the 2017 summer holidays, Northumbria University conducted a mapping exercise into holiday hunger provision across the United Kingdom.
Their findings found:
- A rise in the number of organisations delivering holiday hunger clubs since 2015 with a sharp rise in the establishment of new holiday clubs in 2017.
- The regions of the UK with the greatest number of responses to the survey are the North East of England, London and Scotland.
- Over two thirds of organisations surveyed do not charge for their holiday club provision.
- The majority of organisations provide food and a range of activities for children.
- Voluntary or community based groups and church or faith groups together make up over half of all holiday club providers.
- The majority of organisations rely on both paid and volunteer staff and partner with other organisations or agencies to deliver this provision.
- Holiday clubs are available to children of all ages but organisations predominately focus their provision on primary school aged children (5 – 11 year olds).
Over the past five years, Sharon Hodgson MP, has campaigned on the issue of child hunger issues, including holiday hunger, including the commissioning of the first mapping exercise in the summer of 2016 as Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for School Food.
In response to the latest information released on the holiday hunger situation in the UK, Sharon, said:
“It is deeply concerning to see that holiday hunger provision this summer has increased so drastically compared to last summer, especially with some of the greatest number of responses to Northumbria University’s survey coming from the North East.
“The staff and volunteers who help provide this vital support to families over the summer holidays should be thanked profusely for doing such an amazing job, but it is high time that the Government seriously addressed this issue once and for all.
“The Government must acknowledge this is becoming an ever-more serious issue in our country and come up with policy to tackle this issue. By continuing to put their heads in the sand, they are letting down generations of children who deserve the best start in life, no matter what their background or circumstances. The time to act is now.”
You can see the full report from Northumbria University here: http://www.frankfield.co.uk/upload/docs/Holiday%20Club%20Survey%202017.pdf