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Help for families under pressure

Teams across Cardiff Council, along with partner organisations and community groups, are joining forces to help families facing financial difficulties during the school summer break.

They are providing a range of ways for children to stay active and entertained, as well as low-cost ways to feed families.

The ‘Food and Fun’ programme, now in its eighth year, is delivered through 27 of the city’s schools. The multi-award-winning school holiday enrichment programme provides free meals alongside an exciting line-up of free fun activities, skills and sports.

Charities and companies are also promoting free or low-cost ways to ensure everyone can eat healthily.

Sarah Merry, Cardiff Council’s Deputy Leader and the Cabinet Member for Education, said: “We recognise the need for and importance of our Food and Fun scheme.

“By providing access to physical activity, healthy meals and nutrition and food sessions, the initiative offers a wide range of fun activities which some children may not usually have the chance to enjoy.”

Here is a list of some of the activities and practical advice available:

Free or Low-Cost Activities

  1. Hub Events – Hubs (https://cardiffhubs.co.uk/events)

  2. Crafty Wednesdays – Museum of Cardiff, from July 26 (cardiffmuseum.com/events)

  3. Swimming – Various pools, free for under-16s (www.better.org.uk/leisure-centre/cardiff)

  4. Walks, parks and trails (www.outdoorcardiff.com)

  5. Food and Fun – contact schools for details

Support for Families

  1. Parents and families are urged to contact Cardiff Money Advice (029 2087 1071, www.cardiffmoneyadvice.co.uk) if they are struggling financially or want help accessing benefits.

  2. Healthy Start Vouchers – to buy healthy foods and milk for young children and during pregnancy (0300 330 7010, www.healthystart.nhs.uk/)

  3. School Essentials Grant – help to buy school uniforms etc. (029 2087 1071, www.cardiff.gov.uk and search School Essentials Grant)

  4. Rail transport – children under 11 travel free (if with a fare-paying adult) and 11-16 travel free off-peak (0300 330 7010, www.tfw.wales/ways-to-travel/rail/savings-and-offers/kids-go-free)

  5. Period poverty products – across Hubs (ask at reception)

Free or Low-Cost Food

  1. Food pantries – fresh food, fruit and veg for a small weekly subscription, usually around £5 (www.yourlocalpantry.co.uk)

  2. Community Fridge – sandwiches, cooked food, meat, dairy, veg etc. Pay what you can afford. Every day, 9.30am-11pm (Cathays Community Centre, Cathays Terrace)

  3. Al-Ikhlas Foodbank – Tuesdays, 10am-noon (Al-Ikhlas Centre, Broadway, Adamsdown)

  4. Food for Life Wales – free, nutritious plant-based meals, Mon-Fri, 11am-6pm, Sat, 11am-5pm (Atma Lounge, Unit 20, Capital Centre, Queen Street, Cardiff city centre)

  5. Rainbow of Hope – free tea and coffee for those in need, Mon-Thurs, 10.30am-1pm, Sat, noon-1pm (23-25 Broadway)

  6. Rumney Forum – foodbags, £7 for those in CF3 area, Tues (Brachdy House, Brachdy Road, Rumney)

  7. St Mark’s and St Phillip’s Church – free market, Tues and Sat, 10-10.30am, St Mark’s; Sun, 3.30-4pm, St Phillip’s (St Mark’s, North Road, Gabalfa; St Phillip’s, Tweedsmuir Road, Tremorfa)

  8. Glenwood Community Church – pantry for people in Llanedeyrn or Pentwyn, £3 for 16 items, Fri (Glenwood Community Church, Circle Way West, Llanedeyrn. Register first at www.glenwoodchurch.org/food-club)

  9. Food Cycle Cardiff – free hot meal, families welcome, Ely, Mon, 6.30pm; Riverside, Wed, 6.30pm (Dusty Forge, Cowbridge Road West, Ely; Wyndham Street Centre, Riverside; www.foodcycle.org.uk)

  10. Rumney Chapel Living Room – free breakfast and lunch, plus dinner on some evenings (Brachdy Road, Rumney) www.rumneychapel.org/thelivingroom or 029 2025 0998

  11. Splo-Down – Community Food Group – Wed, 5-7pm (Oasis Centre Courtyard, Splott Road, Splott www.https://splo-down.org/)

The Food and Fun scheme was developed by Cardiff’s Food and Fun team in 2015 and was adopted by Welsh Government and rolled out to the rest of Wales during the following two years. It has been used as an example of Best Practice and has led to Wales being recognised as having the most advanced holiday provision in the UK.

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