Cabot Learning Federation supporting families during the Easter break
Volunteer staff at the Cabot Learning Federation (CLF) will be working together over the Easter break to create and deliver more than 2000 boxes of food and other essential items to families who have found themselves in difficulty.
Some families have been unable to shop due to health restrictions, whilst others have not yet been able to receive the benefits they are latterly entitled to following the effects of Covid-19 sanctions. As a result, the Cabot Learning Federation has taken the unusual step of offering a ‘Family Box’ not just to families in receipt of Free School Meals but also those who have identified that they are suffering hardship following changes of personal circumstances or health complications. This is because of a continued awareness that there will be a time delay between families losing income and becoming eligible for Free School Meals. Using wholesale buying power, the CLF team has created substantial boxes of food that can be used for a range of family meals, getting better value for money for families than would have been possible with supermarket vouches, and these are being delivered home by volunteers, saving families the cost of delivery fees.
Each box contains fresh bread, a litre of milk, 500g butter, 250g cheese, bananas and apples as well as 1kg onions, 1kg carrots, 2.5kg potatoes, 3kg pasta, rice, cereal and tinned tomatoes. In addition to the food in the box, there have been some local donations of other household items. The boxes themselves have been donated by local organisations, as have the Bags for Life that are being used to hold fresh items.
Having already donated protective equipment from Science and Design Technology departments to the NHS and having used 3D printers and lasercutters to make much-needed visors, the schools have now taken the art and craft equipment from store cupboards and have distributed this amongst the boxes, enabling families to do more art and craft at home.
Volunteers have created craft and colouring packs, putting ‘craftalong’ videos onto the CLF website to support children to make Easter-themed pieces, and illustrator Adam Fisher has kindly given his colouring designs to be reproduced free of charge to support older children with mindfulness. Other volunteer staff have put together a series of recipes and ‘cookalong’ videos to support children and families to try new dishes and make the most of the ingredients in their boxes. All materials are being hosted on the CLF Wellbeing Blog, which is accessible to all families across the trust, not just those in receipt of Family Boxes. For anyone cooking or creating something new, the CLF would like to hear from them on Twitter @CabotFederation using the hashtag #lookwhatimade or via email to trusted adults or so that the creations can be celebrated publicly.
The aim of the project is to feed children and families who may be struggling to access food, as well as supporting their wellbeing more broadly at a challenging time for all.
Sally Apps, Executive Principal for the Cabot Learning Federation said, “There are many families who have found that the sudden changes associated with Covid-19 have caused hardship and difficulty. We miss our children and families, and wanted them to know that we continue to think about them and very much want to celebrate their successes even – and perhaps especially - at this worrying time. This is why we have come together to provide some resource and support for our children and families. We are very grateful to those who have donated, those who are volunteering and those who have taken on the enormous task of organising this effort safely. It is absolutely what our children deserve and a real sign of the commitment and care of staff right across our organisation.”