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Project information

Healthy Holidays

To address food insecurity affecting young people in South London by supporting local groups to provide good quality nutritious food for children and young people during the school holidays. Including football clubs, adventure playgrounds playgrounds & projects supporting vulnerable women.

August 2017 - September 2018

Charity information: West London Mission

West London Mission logo
  • Need


    We want to tackle the problem of holiday hunger. There is a great need for our project in Lambeth. 1 in 3 Lambeth families are eligible for free school meals, compared to 1 in 4 elsewhere in London. With nearly 30% of children and young people living in poverty in Lambeth many families are struggling to cover the cost of the additional meals during the school holidays. Consequently many children in Lambeth are going hungry which impacts on behaviour and learning.


    Work with up Lambeth holiday groups to: Provide the children with healthy food; Provide a support package to parents, families and carers of the children who attend the holiday groups that includes: Advice on cooking healthy meals on a budget – access to family cookery classes and recipes. Related WLM services to support people around debt and financial stress, digital inclusion, and English language classes and signposting families to other borough support agencies including food banks.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Reduce childhood hunger during school holidays


    » Provide and serve healthy food across Lambeth to school holiday groups. This includes fresh fruit, juices and hot and cold meals.
    » Feed 1,700 children and young people + their families

    What success will look like

    Numbers of school holiday groups taking part (aiming for 7 to 10) and children accessing healthy food. We expect to feed 1,700 children + family members over the year.

    Aim 2

    Support disadvantaged families to live healthier lifestyles.


    » Family cookery classes; including identifying healthy & tasty food and cooking on a limited budget.

    What success will look like

    Families taking part in the sessions. Pre-session and post-session questionnaires to track development in skills, knowledge and confidence.

    Aim 3

    Support the long-term financial capability of low income families in Lambeth


    » Provide access to debt and financial stress support; digital inclusion & English classes & signposting to other support services

    What success will look like

    Families taking part in the sessions. Pre-session and post-session questionnaires to track development in skills, knowledge and confidence.

  • Impact


    We will dually tackle the short-term symptoms of hunger experienced by an unacceptable number of children and young people while providing support and guidance to their families to help lift them out of poverty in the long-term.


    Risks are minimal as we have already piloted this project so we know it works. Between spring 2015 and summer 2016, Healthy Holidays supported 7 Lambeth groups. The groups report a positive impact on behaviour and improved social skills as a result of the young people cooking and eating together. We work with established groups and partner with food charity FareShare to access our healthy food. Our financial support work is well established within Lambeth.


    We will carry out a report and evaluation and make it available from our website and notify donors when it is ready.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £79,770

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      Amount Heading Description
      £26,218 Staff Our Community Food Coordinator & Financial Resilience Coordinator - responsible for the project
      £45,500 Food Service A years worth of school holiday food for 1700 children + parents from low income families
      £5,252 Made of Money workshops 4 x 6 week courses to support low income families to better financial capability
      £2,800 Eat Well Spend Less 4 x 6 weeks courses to support healthy eating and cookery skills

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    West London Mission £15,000 Guaranteed
    Walcot Foundation £5,252 Guaranteed
  • Background


    WLM operates from our community hub in Kennington called St Luke’s. This is a recently decorated and well equipped space from which we host a range of projects and classes that help develop and empower the local community, from employment support programmes to parenting classes. The school holiday groups with who we partner operate across the borough where WLM facilities the provision of healthy food for the children and parents who attend.


    Local children and their families from low income backgrounds who are attending holiday clubs throughout the borough will benefit from WLM Healthy Holiday’s. Healthy Holiday’s adds value to the holiday clubs and groups we support and improves their offer as before they couldn’t afford to provide food. The families benefit on a long-term basis through access to WLM support with healthy cooking, budgeting and financial capability.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    For 130 years WLM has been delivering amazing social care that improves the lives of some of the most disadvantaged and marginalised people in London. We compassionately support people through a time of crisis with emergency services and work with our beneficiaries on a one-to-one basis to deliver long-term change for them and society. Since 2014 WLM has been promoting financial capability and reducing food poverty in Lambeth to great effect. Our Healthy Holiday’s work has so far support

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Virginia Nimarkoh

    Community Food Coordinator - Has developed WLM's food poverty work to tackle childhood hunger with a deep knowledge of the issues affecting Lambeth.

    Laura McCullagh

    Financial Resilience Coordinator - Has developed our work to support the financial capability of WLM's beneficiaries, an experienced project worker.