£10,000 scheme to help prevent Hartlepool children going hungry in Easter holidays

Youngsters have enjoyed craft sessions at the club during the summer break.
Youngsters have enjoyed craft sessions at the club during the summer break.

A new £10,000 grants scheme is open for applications to groups in Hartlepool that will help prevent children from going hungry over the Easter school holidays.

Hartlepool Borough Council is encouraging groups in town to bid for a share of the funding under the Filling the Gap scheme.

It is designed to help families by plugging the gap of free school meals.

A total of £10,000 is being made available for the Easter scheme, with £6,500 coming from the council’s Child and Family Poverty Initiatives Reserve.

The remaining £3,500 is money left over from a previous scheme.

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, leader of the council and chair of the Finance and Policy Committee which agreed to fund the latest grant scheme, said: “I am delighted that the council is once again making money available to help some of the most vulnerable families in the town.

“It shows how we are determined to fight poverty in Hartlepool despite the huge financial pressures that we continue to face as a local authority.”

The funding is available to public sector and voluntary and community sector organisations and other charitable groups.

The Rifty Youth Project’s holiday club benefited from the scheme last summer.

The Easter scheme follows on from the success of three others which ran during the summer in 2016 and 2017 and school holidays last Christmas.

During the most recent scheme, 15 community voluntary and statutory organisations received grants.

Bids centred on the provision of healthy food at community activities and healthy Christmas food hampers for vulnerable children and families.

More than 2,000 meals and 800 snacks were provided over Christmas and 467 parcels and hampers were supplied to vulnerable families.

The deadline for applications to be received is 5pm on Tuesday, March 27.

More details about Filling the Holiday Gap grants is available at www.hartlepool.gov.uk/fillingtheholidaygap2018