New project funds cook and eat sessions in Eastleigh

Vulnerable children in Eastleigh will have access to extra food and support next February Half Term thanks to a Community Grant from the new ‘connect4communities’ programme - led by Hampshire County Council

Dec 17 2020

Solent Youth Action will receive a grant of £1,940 to run cook and eat sessions for children who are registered with a disability and from a low-income household. The children will learn to cook specific meals, will sit down to eat these meals together with their peers, and will take home recipe cards and ingredients to recreate the meal at home with their families.

Councillor Patricia Stallard, the County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services and Young People, said: “I am delighted this grant will go towards helping vulnerable children in the Half Term holiday. Many families are finding they are under extra pressure now because of the pandemic, perhaps because of a job loss, and are struggling to buy the basics like food and fuel. Our ‘connect4communities’ programme was created to address this need and it is wonderful to see that we can support community groups to provide practical help in their local area.”

The funds awarded to Solent Youth Action will also be used to create easy-to-follow videos, which show the viewer how to create simple meals. This will complement a weekly delivery of ingredients for these meals for the families who sign up. A proportion of the funds will be spent on food vouchers that the families can use to buy food at their local supermarket.

Kailea Hurcombe, Chief Executive Officer at Solent Youth Action, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive this grant award. The vulnerable young people and their families that we support have had a really tough year, with services they have relied on being cancelled or reduced across the board. This grant acknowledges the local grass roots organisations who work tirelessly to identify and respond to the needs of their community, with ours being disabled 10 to 16-year-olds who love nothing more than seeing their friends, laughing at our staff and making tasty food they can eat!”

‘connect4communities’ is funded by the £2.89 million Covid Winter Grant Scheme, awarded to the Authority by the Department for Work and Pensions, and comprises a planned programme of measures to support families and individuals facing hardship due to COVID-19. It is being run in partnership with schools, colleges and Early Years providers, as well as voluntary and charity organisations. 

Councillor Patricia Stallard added: “It is voluntary, community and third sector organisations who are in the ideal position to provide support because they know their communities best. I encourage other such groups to apply for a Community Grant and help in building resilience in their communities.”

‘connect4communities’ grants are specifically intended to support families in need with food, energy and water bills. They can also be used for essential items such as warm clothing and bedding, as well to supply slow cookers to households who do not have basic cooking facilities.

To learn more about the ‘connect4communities’ projects and to apply for a Community Grant visit connect4communities.org