“A high-quality holiday activity programme ‐ including support with literacy ‐ in Hertfordshire’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods, with a nutritious meal every day, free of charge.”

 Fit Fed & Read school holiday activity programmes operate out of Fire Stations across Hertfordshire during the school Easter and Summer holidays.

Each four-hour day consists of:

  • Two hours of physical activity
  • One hour of fun education
  • One hour of two-course nutritious cooked lunch

Participant entry criteria:

  • Aged between 7-12 years
  • Eligible for free school meals

Physical Activity

  • Games based physical activity

Fun Education

  • Healthy Eating & Nutrition (games based) (Hertfordshire Catering Ltd)
  • Creative Literacy (Hertfordshire Libraries)
  • Fire and Community Safety (Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue Service)

 Lunch

  • Two-course Nutritious Hot Lunch (Hertfordshire Catering Ltd)
Fit Fed & Read Delivery Partnership

The programme is run by the Fit Fed & Read Delivery Partnership which consists of:

Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue Service (HFRS): offer their fire stations as venues for each programme. The fire stations serve as fantastic programme venues for a number of reasons: they boast significant indoor and outdoor space for physical activity, they have multiple additional facilities (such as kitchens, toilets, meeting rooms) and they are an exciting place to visit for young children. The HFRS Fire Fighters also engage with the young people on programme in a variety of ways from fun educational sessions to socialising over lunch.

Hertfordshire Catering Ltd (HCL): work with their food suppliers to provide nutritious two-course cooked lunches to every programme across the programme. This involves negotiating the supply of food, preparing the meals offsite at a local school kitchen, transporting and serving them, and clearing/cleaning the equipment after. In addition to lunch HCL also worked hard to develop and deliver two healthy eating workshops per programme per week across the programme (there were 48 sessions over the summer).

Hertfordshire Library Service: have developed fun literacy session plans and provide staff from libraries local to each project to deliver them at the venue. The sessions aim to retain children’s use of some literacy skills during the holidays that they may not usually be using them otherwise, whilst keeping the activity fun and avoiding recreating a school-like atmosphere.

University of Hertfordshire (UH): worked alongside the Lead Delivery Officer (previously of Hertfordshire Football Futures) to recruit and employ the delivery staff for each programme. These staff members were largely a combination of sports coaches and school teachers. This process involved a combination of ability/right to work/credential checks as well as management of all of the payroll.

Families First: worked to encourage as many child referrals into the programme as possible. To do this the programme information and sign up process was distributed throughout their network of children’s centres and intensive family support teams who could then highlight relevant young people to take part and help to fill the necessary paperwork.

StreetGames UK: help facilitate Fit and Fed projects nationally. Our programme is heavily supported by them as they help shape our offer drawing on national best practice. They also provided training for the delivery staff before the programme and this summer they gained us access to £10,250 of funding through the Department for Education.

Ken Follett: has joined the team as a Fit Fed & Read Ambassador. Using his status as a world renowned best-selling author Ken helped to raise awareness of the programme and lead the press launch day pitching the overall importance of the programme as well as delivering a story telling session with the children. This lead to the programme gaining coverage on BBC Look East in the summer delivery.

Background

Fit and Fed is a national initiative developed by StreetGames UK which aims to confront the growing issues of hunger, isolation and physical inactivity in children from low income families during the school holidays.

Fit and Fed projects can take many shapes, but the consistent themes are that they provide holiday physical activity sessions where young people can socialise, be active and there is nutritious food served. HSP have worked in close partnership with StreetGames to take the programme that has proved successful in other areas of the country and develop a tailored Hertfordshire approach.

Fit, Fed and Read is the Herts Sports Partnership (HSP) variation of the national StreetGames UK programme ‘Fit and Fed’ which also aims to combat the education attainment issues commonly experienced by young people throughout the school holidays.

The programme has developed through a series of pilot delivery periods. Initially a two-day pilot at Hatfield Fire Station in the summer of 2017 followed by two one-week pilot programmes, one Hatfield and one Welwyn Garden City Fire Stations, in Easter 2018. These three pilots allowed for significant amounts of learning which has shaped how we delivered the Fit Fed & Read programme in the 2018 summer school holidays. In Summer 2018 the Fit Fed & Read partnership delivered six simultaneous projects around Hertfordshire in Hatfield, Cheshunt, Borehamwood, Watford, Stevenage and Hemel Hempstead Fire Stations. These areas were identified by combining LSOA data, the indices of multiple deprivation and local knowledge through our relationships with local authorities.

Evaluation

There has been extensive evaluation of the programme delivery and the impact that it can have for the participants and their families. The most recent evaluation document can be found here.

For more information about Fit Fed & Read in Hertfordshire please contact:

Will Slemmings
E: w.slemmings@herts.ac.uk
T: 01707 283249