A ground breaking multi – agency Hertfordshire based initiative has secured the support of internationally renowned, bestselling author Ken Follett CBE.
Hertfordshire’s Fit, Fed and Read programme, being rolled out across the school summer holidays, is aimed at countering the triple inequalities of holiday hunger, social isolation and physical inactivity amongst some of the county’s most disadvantaged young people.
Fit and Fed is a national StreetGames UK project and the Hertfordshire version is held at local fire stations – and includes sessions delivered by the Hertfordshire Library Service, and food provided by Herts Catering Ltd – the main supplier of school meals to the area’s schools.
Every week day throughout the August holiday period, up to 200 local school children will enjoy a nutritious meal, a range of sport and physical activity programmes delivered by professional coaches and fun literacy session delivered by the Library Service and local fire officers.
Ken Follett CBE who has sold over 165 million copies of his work and continues to take a keen interest in opportunities for children – particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds – to develop and enjoy their reading and storytelling skills.
In welcoming the programme, launched at Stevenage Fire and Rescue Station on Monday 6th August 2018, Follett said:
“I am proud to support Fit, Fed and Read — it provides opportunities for local children from disadvantaged backgrounds to be active, have a good meal and discover the joy of exploring the world through reading, and all the opportunities this can provide for their futures.”
In echoing those sentiments, Jane Shewring Deputy Director at the Herts Sports and Physical Activity Partnership, the lead body for the initiative, said:
“The school holidays should be fun and enjoyable time for our young people but for some of those from our most disadvantaged backgrounds, the reality is often something quite different. Not only are those young people facing holiday hunger and inactivity, they can all often feel very isolated as their more affluent peers enjoy local camps and overseas travel and promote their experiences through social media.
As the County Sports Partnership for Hertfordshire we are delighted to be involved in this programme and we are indebted to the support of Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Herts Catering Ltd, Hertfordshire Library Service, Families First and to Ken Follett CBE for his fantastic support. To have such a high profile literary figure take such a keen and enthusiastic interest in our project – and its impact on the lives of the young participants – is a great honour and a tremendous endorsement of our work in this area.”
The Hertfordshire Fit, Fed and Read programmes are being held at the following Fire and Rescue Stations across Hertfordshire for a 4-week period throughout August 2018:
- Borehamwood Fire Station, Elstree Way, Borehamwood WD6 1JP
- Cheshunt Fire Station, College Road, Cheshunt, Waltham Cross EN8 9LT
- Hatfield Fire Station, Wellfield Road, Hatfield AL10 0DA
- Hemel Hempstead Fire Station, Queensway, Hemel Hempstead HP2 5HA
- Stevenage Fire Station, St. Georges Way, Stevenage SG1 1HS
- Watford Fire Station, 223-229 Lower High Street, Watford WD17 2AG