Posted: Wednesday 18th April 2018
Over the recent school holidays, the Herts Sports and Physical Activity Partnership (HSP), based at the University of Hertfordshire, has been busy piloting its Fit, Fed and Read programme at Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield Fire Stations.
Fit and Fed is a national StreetGames initiative which seeks to counter the triple inequalities of holiday hunger, physical inactivity and social isolation, facing some of the country’s most disadvantaged children aged 8-11.
Local activation of this national campaign has involved the creation of a Hertfordshire specific programme which focuses on healthy eating, sport and physical activity and improved literacy –Fit, Fed and Read.
Children who attended the programme were treated to a nutritious hot meal, provided by Hertfordshire Catering Ltd (HCL), the main supplier of school meals in the county. HCL also delivered sessions where the children learned about healthy eating choices and could concoct some exotic fruit flavoured drinks on the very popular smoothie bikes.
Participants also enjoyed a range of physical activity programmes and fun literacy sessions – including Horrible Histories – coordinated by Hertfordshire Libraries.
The programme, which is the brainchild of HSP Deputy Director, Jane Shewring and Herts Fire and Rescue Service Area Commander Steve Holton, has been a rip-roaring success and the positive feedback from both the young participants and their parents and carers has been extremely positive.
Running the programmes at the local fire stations, with the involvement of fire service personnel has been an enormous boost to the scheme as they provide safe, indoor and outdoor activity spaces, as well as respected role models. Some of the firefighters got involved in programme delivery, including reading to the young participants and organising some of the physical activity and sport sessions, and skilfully used the engagement to land some key messages around fire safety to those young people involved.
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