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Day Out, Not just a Handout

The Big Lottery Fund has awarded a £60,000 grant to Children North East to help tackle hunger and the summer learning lag during school holidays across Co Durham.

The ‘Day Out, Not just a Handout’ project will be run by homes and communities business livin in schools across Ferryhill, Spennymoor, Newton Aycliffe and Shildon this summer. Providing local children with free activities and nutritious meals in a bid to ensure no child goes hungry. The project will also help maintain educational attainment during the school break.

Research carried out by Northumbria University showed that attainment amongst six to eight year olds in three areas of Scotland and England dropped to about four and a half weeks behind where it was before the summer break. Feedback from the project will contribute towards the continuing national research into what makes a good holiday scheme.

Vicky Miller, community regeneration manager, livin said: “We know that school children with better health and wellbeing are more likely to gain positive academic achievements as well as have better developed social and emotional competencies. We are delighted to have received this funding be able to offer such a project in our communities.”

Over 100 local children will be offered a chance to take part in day trips, garden art, ‘pick your own’ fruit and veg, family BBQs and lots more.

Jane Streather, chair of the north east child poverty commission said: “We are thrilled that the Big Lottery Fund is supporting this project. We hope it will identify the essential components needed to run excellent holiday schemes and establish a blueprint for other organisations to follow in the future.”

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