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Free meals and summer activities to stop ‘holiday hunger’

School children in Elephant and Castle will benefit from extra support during the summer in a bid to tackle ‘holiday hunger’ and gang violence.

The Childhood Trust is expanding its ‘Summer Give’ campaign south of the river to help children when term time ends.

The charity says the holiday period can be difficult for the many kids, especially those who usually receive free school meals but have to make do without at home.

Many parents are forced to leave their children unsupervised while they are out at work – leading to them becoming bored, frustrated, and potentially in dangerous situations at home or out on the street.

The charity has received a £5,000 funding boost from developer Delancey to help support children throughout July and August with a range of free activities.

Laurence Guinness, chief executive of The Childhood Trust, said: “Many children are facing a summer holiday from hell this year.

“Violence, gangs and drugs are out of control in some areas and kids as young as five and six are left to wander the streets terrified, hungry and bored while their parents struggle to make a living.

“With reduced government funding it’s left up to charities to change this.

“Thanks to Delancey’s very generous support, our Summer Give campaign will provide a lifeline for London’s poorest kids living around Elephant and Castle, funding projects to help keep kids safe, well fed and engaged in fun activities throughout the holidays.”

The project aims to help 600 children in Elephant and Castle by providing nutritious food, safe and fun activities, and life-changing experiences to help build confidence.

According to the charity’s research, 90% of the children its partner charities work with are not able to leave London on a trip or holiday without charitable help, and two thirds are frightened of being attacked or exploited by gangs.

Last year, in a survey conducted with the National Union of Teachers, one in three teachers said that they saw signs of malnutrition in their pupils when they came back to school in September.

To help stop ‘holiday hunger’, Kitchen Social Hub will be serving up healthy food at Bede Centre, on Abbeyfield Road, while Football Beyond Borders, Montage Theatre Arts and the Baytree Centre will be offering sport, theatre and days out throughout the summer months.

The full range of activities on offer funded by The Children’s Trust in Southwark and Lambeth is listed below:

Kitchen Social Hub provides healthy food and fun activities, and is open to all children and young people, at Bede Centre, Abbeyfield Road, SE16 2BS.

Call 020 7231 6027 or visit

Football Beyond Borders is a school summer holiday football programme. Email, call 07738 414 271 or visit

Montage Theatre Arts offers three weeks of performing arts including dance, drama, mask making and singing which finishes with shows performed to family and friends.

The teachers are experts and West End professionals and aim to help the kids explore their creativity, build their confidence and make friends.

Any of the children given financial bursaries will include free places and a lunch. Call  020 8692 7007 or visit

The Baytree Centre, based in Brixton, will provide up to 60 isolated young women from Southwark and Lambeth, aged 12-18, special activities including trips to parks and museums.

For more information, phone 0207 733 5283 or visit


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