As schools break up for the summer holidays, Bishop Peter is supporting a foodbank appeal for games, jigsaw puzzles, colouring books and pens, to help carers entertain children and young people over the summer holidays.
The foodbank in Weston super Mare, one of many foodbanks across Somerset, has seen a 98 per cent rise in the number of families with children needing support during the lockdown. In the three months from April to June, Weston foodbank fed 766 children – compared to 387 in 2019.
But as families continue to struggle to provide food for their children, they will also struggle to keep them active and occupied this summer.
The diocese is asking for people to support the appeal by donating new games and activities for children, to help them have a healthy and happy summer holidays before the return to school in September. With many children’s clubs forced to close because of Covid, lots of children face a long summer indoors at home, on top of weeks already spent indoors in lockdown.
Bishop Peter is asking people to get in touch with their local foodbank to see if there are additional items they need for families, or send along donations to Weston Foodbank.
The majority of children and young people have been away from school and reliant on online lessons at home since March 23, putting a huge strain on the children themselves and their families.
Bishop Peter said: “Families have been under strain all over the country, and particularly in areas like Weston super Mare where so many are reliant for income from tourism. I’m hoping people can rally round and support families with donations of money or games to help put a smile on the faces of children who have undergone a tough and confusing few months.”
Youth advisers for the diocese have also put together a guide to running a virtual holiday club to help churches reach out to families this summer. Several churches are running online holiday clubs for children. Find the details on our Coronavirus support page for Schools, Children and Young People.
If you’d like to support the appeal and send games, pens or puzzles or a financial donation, please send to Weston Foodbank, North St, Weston-super-Mare BS23 1QF or drop off in person on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 10am and 2.30pm. Milton Baptist Church, Baytree Rd, Weston-super-Mare BS22 8HJ also collects donations to the foodbank and donations can be dropped off if person on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 9.30am and 11.30am.
The Foodbank is particularly asking for gel pens, jigsaw puzzles, games which families can play together such as Jenga; Uno; Hippos; Memory games, as well as colouring books, including colouring books for older children and adults. All items should be new and unused.