Hundreds of children in Ayr North and Girvan have benefited from more than 7,000 healthy lunches served up at activities taking place during the summer break.
The South Ayrshire Council pilot project was run in partnership with Lochside Mission, the Glendoune Community Association, Girvan Youth Trust, Voluntary Action South Ayrshire, and Ayrshire Housing.
The pilot project was paid for by £10,000 from South Ayrshire Council’s allocation of funds from the Scottish Procurement Alliance via the Lintel Trust, a £1,000 donation from Ross Electricals, and from in-house support.
In Ayr North, the council worked in partnership with St Columba’s Church in Lochside. Volunteers helped to provide 5,000 healthy packed lunches for children and young people taking part in a range of activities provided though the Council’s summer activity programme, and some third sector activities provided by Barnardos and Whitletts Victoria Football Club. The Lochside Mission also provided daily activities and lunches on their converted bus at various locations.
In Girvan, the council’s catering staff provided 2,500 healthy packed lunches to children and young people taking part in activities organised by the Glendoune Community Association and Girvan Youth Trust. Donations of rolls, fruit, healthy snacks and bottled water were made to the programme by food suppliers used by the Council – Fergusons Bakers, Brakes, and George Carruthers Glasgow.
Activities on offer included: art, archery, beach activity sessions, climbing, cycling, fishing, football, golf, skating, swimming, and tennis.
Councillor Douglas Campbell, leader of South Ayrshire Council, said: “Thousands of meals have been provided as part of a programme that removes a pressure for many families during the holidays by providing fun and healthy activities, combined with a healthy and nutritious lunch so children were safe, active and fed.
“Our staff and our partners have worked tirelessly to make the lunches every day which have been distributed at activities right through the summer, with this great team effort making a real difference to hundreds of people.
“We’re committed to delivering for communities and this pilot project is a great example of working in new ways to help give our children the brightest possible future.”
Bill Logan, project manager at the Girvan Youth Trust, said: “The programme supports our summer activities for children in Girvan, with the partnership meaning we’ve been able to meet both the physical activity and health needs of local children.
“The feedback from parents and the daily distribution and uptake of 80 lunches every day demonstrates the need and impact the initiative has had. The success of this project is also testimony to the commitment of all local community partners and volunteers. We’d be proud to continue this partnership in future.”
Mary Morland, chairperson of the Glendoune Community Association, said: “Every day our army of helpers worked hard to get the lunches out to the children taking part in our activities.
“It was worth the effort to see the difference the gesture made, with this year’s programme among our most popular.”
Ayrshire Housing contributed to Whitletts Victoria Football Club children’s coaching project with a Building Community Capacity grant.
Ayrshire Housing’s director, Jim Whiston, said: “Whitletts Victoria has brought real pleasure to so many children with their summer coaching sessions.
“Ayrshire Housing is delighted to have funded the equipment that made this possible. We know it will be put to good use during future school breaks.”
Drewe McIlroy, regional business development manager at Ross Electricals, said: “We’re proud to have been involved in such a worthwhile cause during the summer holidays.
“As we provide many products which serve a purpose to buildings and structures in Ayrshire, it’s allowed us a further opportunity to connect with the children to ensure both a practical environment and a healthy lifestyle.”
A report outlining the impact of the project is scheduled to go before Councillors in September 2017.