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Project information

Rainbow Lunch Club

Lunch club runs at the Rainbow Centre every holiday, each time providing 50 children from struggling families and different cultures with a nutritious, 2-course meal plus sports, crafts, arts, food and play activities - from circus skills to mosaic-making to street dance to sports and outings.

July 2018 - October 2018

Charity information: Barnet Community Projects

Barnet Community Projects logo
  • Need


    The lunch club, part of national Make Lunch and London’s Kitchen Social, combats holiday hunger, a big problem on the estate we serve. Most children come from families battling with poverty, disadvantage and exclusion, including Traveller families, refugees, single-parent families and the long-term unemployed. Up to 50% of children in our local schools are on free school meals, they lack not only sufficient food, but positive activities.


    We offer children nutritious and balanced meals, a safe space to socialise and play, positive activities that improve their well-being , enable them to be active, creative and learn new skills. Food-related activities help them to eat more healthily. Parents value the lunch club not only for all of this, but that children mix with others from different backgrounds. We encourage helping out/volunteering and signpost families to other support we offer, e.g. money advice, regular sports etc.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Better nutrition for local children all year-round


    » Providing a hot, 2-course, freshly cooked, balanced meal to up to 50 primary-school children during the school holidays

    What success will look like

    Children will participate in meals, try and eat new things
    Annual children's and parents' survey will gather feedback on their eating habits and preferences

    Aim 2

    Improved well-being of local, disadvantaged children


    » A mixture of sports, creative and food-related activities at each lunchclub, including workshops, coaching sessions, games etc.

    What success will look like

    Children will participate in activities and demonstrate enjoyment and learning - tracked through structured observation by teams, completing activities, things produced

    Aim 3

    Improve children's social capabilities


    » Bringing children together in joint activities, involvement in running lunchclub and outings that give them new experiences outside their local area

    What success will look like

    Tracked through structured observation based on lunchclub rules which capture behaviours, attitudes, collaboration etc.

  • Impact


    Children develop healthy eating habits - tracked through annual survey
    Children access positive and learning activities, improving their skills - tracked through participation in regular programmes we offer; parents survey; liaison with schools


    *Lack of volunteers to run sessions - managed on an ongoing basis by the lunchclub manager through advanced planning/scheduling and continuous volunteer recruitment
    *Disengagement of families - managed through close liaison with schools for referrals
    *Key team members unavailable - e.g. chef - managed through having contingencies in place


    Via an end-of year report

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £9,888

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £1,175 food ingredients for 25 meas for 50 children
      £1,688 Chef fees 5 hrs over 25 days plus 2 days planning
      £2,551 Project Manager fees incl all planning, scheduling, volunteer management etc
      £625 Volunteer expenses estimated at £25 per day
      £900 workshop leader/coach fees 3 sessions per week
      £400 activity materias £16 per day - art/craft materials, balls etc
      £1,049 comms/admin costs, overheads info materials, letters, postage, DBS check fees, insurance, space cost, phones etc
      £1,500 outings 3 outings, incl all travel costs, admission fees, packed lunches etc

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Kitchen Social £1,200 Guaranteed
    Jesus Hospital Charity £1,300 Guaranteed
    Brakes £2,250 Guaranteed
    Belazu £1,250 Conditional
  • Background


    Dollis Valley Estate in the London Borough of Barnet is the 3rd most deprived area in the borough and among the 12% most deprived in the UK. It is isolated due to its location and poor transport links; it has not local amenities/facilities, not even a playground. The Rainbow Centre has the only outdoor sports/play area. The estate has the highest skills deprivation in the borough; 60% of residents are unemployed; regeneration and an increase in crime have led to tensions.


    Primary-school children from the estate whose families are struggling with poverty, and therefore to feed their children during the holidays and offering them positive activities. We take children on free school meals, working closely with local schools. Older siblings are invited to volunteer. Families are referred to other support services at our centre, and we offer individual help.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have been running the Rainbow Youth and Community Centre since 2012, having been active on the estate since 2010. Composed of local community workers and volunteers, we engaged local residents through sports. When the council planned to close the centre in 2012, we brought together local groups and people to reopen it as a community-run facility. We are embedded on the estate, we are a trusted presence and provide a range of services together with local partners.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Steve Verrall

    Steve is the director of the Rainbow Centre. He is a qualified, experienced youth worker and coach and runs many sports and other sessions himself.

    Karen Hedges

    Karen is the lunch club manager. He set it up as a volunteer in 2013 and has been organising and running it since

    Tom Waters

    Tom is a core volunteer, acting as Karen's assistant, helping to plan, organise and run the lunch club and especially activity sessions